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Full text of "The works of President Edwards : a reprint of the Worcester edition : with valuable additions and a copious general index, to which, for the first time, has been added, at great expense, a complete index of Scripture texts"

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W K K S 












I. Inquiry into the Freedom of the 

II. Dissertation concerning the end 
for which God created the 
HI. Dissertation on the Nature of 
True Virtue. 

IV. Doctrine ofOriginalSin defended. 
V. Miscellaneous Observations con- 
cerning the Divine Decrees in 
general and election in par- 

VI. Remarks on Efficacious Grace. 
VII. Observations concerning Faith. 




No. 191 Broadway. 

-in ■ i .ntuiiiMi 




v. 2 


/I - 

' r 







TART I. Wherein are explained and stated various terms and things belong- 
ing to the subject of the ensuing Discourse . . . . 1 

Sect. i. Concerning the Nature of the Will . . . . . ib. 

ii. Concerning the Determination of the Will . . . . .3 

in. Concerning the meaning of the terms. Necessity, Impossibility, Inability, 
&c, and of Contjngence . . . . . 8 

iv. Of the distinction of natural and moral Necessity, and Inability . . 13 

v. Concerning the notion of Liberty, and of moral Agency . . .17 

PART II. Wherein it is considered, whether there is or can be any such sort of 
Freedom of Will, as that wherein Arminians place the essence of the Lib- 
erty of all Moral Agents ; and whether any such thing ever was or can be 
conceived of . . . . . . . . .20 

Sect. i. Showing the manifest inconsistence of the Arminian notion of Liberty 

of Will, consisting in the Will's self-determining Power . . . ib. 

ii. Several supposed ways of evading the foregoing reasoning, considered . 22 
in. Whether any Event whatsoever, and Volition in particular, can come to 
pass without a Cause of its existence .... 26 

iv. Whether Volition can arise without a Cause, through the activity of the 

nature of the soul . 30 

t. Showing 1 , that if the things asserted in these Evasions should be supposed 
to be true, they are altogether impertinent, and cannot help the cause of 
Arminian Liberty; and how, this being the state of the case, Arminian 
writers are obliged to talk inconsistently . . . . .32 

vi. Concerning the Will determining in things which are perfectly indifferent 
in the view of the mind . . . . . . .35 

vn. Concerning the notion of Liberty of Will, consisting in Indifference . 39 
vin. Concerning the supposed Liberty of the Will, as opposite to all'Necessity 45 
ix. Of the Connection of the Acts of the Will with the Dictates of the Under- 
standing . . . . . ... . .43 

x. Volition necessarily connected with the influence of Motives : with partic- 
ular observations of the great inconsistence of Mr. Chubb's assertions and 
reasonings about the Freedom of the Will . . . . .52 

xi. The evidence of God's certain Foreknowledge of the Volitions of moral 
Agents . . . . . . . . " . 61 

xii. God's certain Foreknowledge of the future volitions of moral agents, in- 
consistent with such a Contingence of those volitions as is without all Ne- 
cessity ... . . . . . . . 73 

xiii. Wliether we suppose the volitions of moral Agents to be connected with 
, any thing antecedent, or not, yet they must be necessary in such a sense as 
to overthrow Arminian Liberty . . . . . .81 

PART III. Wherein is inquired, whether any such Liberty of Will as Arminians 
hold be necessary to Moral Agency. Virtue and vice, Praise and Dis- 
praise, &c. . . . . . . . .83 

Sect. i. God's moral Excellency necessary, yet virtuous and praiseworthy . ib, 
ii. The Acts of the Will of the human soul of Jesus Christ necessarily noly, 
yet truly virtuous, praiseworthy, rewardable, &c. . . .86 


hi. The case of such as are given up of God to sin, and of fallen man in gen- 
eral, proves moral Necessity and Inability to be consistent with Blamewor- 
thiness . . . . . •;.-.. . . 94 

iv. Command and Obligation to Obedience, consistent with moral Inability 
to obey ......... 99 

v. That Sincerity of Desires and Endeavors, which is supposed to excuse in 
the non-performance of things in themselves good, particularly considered 105 

vi. Liberty of Indifference, not only not necessary to Virtue, but utterly incon- 
sistent with it ; and all, either virtuous or vicious habits or inclinations, in- 
consistent with Arminian notions of Liberty and moral Agency . 1 10 

vn. Arminian notions of moral Agency inconsistent with all influence of Mo- 
tive and Inducement, in either virtuous or vicious actions . . 1 15 
PART IV. Wherein the chief grounds of the reasonings of Arminians, in sup- 
port and defence of the forementioned notions of Liberty, Moral Agency, 
&c, and against the opposite doctrine, are considered . . 119 
Sect. i. The Essence of the virtue and vice of dispositions of the heart, and 
acts of the Will, lies not in their Cause, but their Nature . . . ib. 

n. The Falseness and Inconsistence of that metaphysical notion of Action, 
and Agency, which seems to be generally entertained by the defenders of 
the Arminian Doctrine concerning Liberty, moral Agency, &c. . . 122 

III. The reasons why some think it contrary to common Sense, to suppose 
those tilings which are necessary to be worthy of either Praise or Blame . 127 

iv. It is agreeable to common sense, and the natural notions of mankind, to 
suppose moral Necessity to be consistent with Praise and Blame, Reward 
and Punishment •••..... 131 

v. Objections, that this scheme of Necessity renders all Means and Endeavors 
for avoiding Sin, or obtaining Virtue and Holiness, vain, and to no pur- 
pose ; and that it makes men no more than mere machines, in affairs of 
morality and religion, answered ...... 136 

vi. Concerning that objection against the doctrine which has been maintain- 
ed, that it agrees with the Stoical doctrine of Fate, and the opinions of Mr. 
Hobbes ••••..... 140 

vn. Concerning the Necessity of the Divine Will . 142 

fin. Some further objections against the moral Necessity of God's Volitions 
considered ••••..... 147 

ix. Concerning that objection against the doctrine which has been maintained' 
that it makes God the author of Sin ...... 155 

x. Concerning Sin's first Entrance into the World . 165 

xi. Of a supposed Inconsistence between these principles and God's morai 
character ...... m iqq 

XII. Of a supposed tendency of these principles to Atheism and Licentious^ 
nes !, • . • • 169 

xiii. Concerning that objection against the reasoning, by which the Calvin- 
istic doctrine is supposed, that it is metaphysical and abstruse . . 171 

The Conclusion ...... 177 

Remarks on the Essays on the Principles .of Morality and Natural Religion' 
in a Letter to a minister of the Church of Scotland . . . 183 



Introduction— Explanation of terms 

CHAP. I. What Reason dictates concerning this affair '. 
Sect. i. The general dictates of reason . 
11. What Reason supposes 
hi. How God regards himself . 
iv. Some objections considered .... 

:'HAP. II. What may be learned from the Holy Scriptures 
Sect. 1. Scripture makes God his last end 
11. Concerning a just method of arguing 
in. Particular texts of Scripture . \ 

iv. God created the world for his name, &c. \ 
v. Communication of good to the creature . [ 








vi. What is meant by the glory of God, &c. 
vii. God's last end is but one 



CHAP. I. Concerning the essence of true virtue 

II. How love respects different beings . 

III. Concerning the secondary beauty . 

IV. Of self-love and its influence 

V. Natural conscience, and the moral sense 

VI. Of particular instincts of nature 

VII. The reasons of many mistakes 

VIII. Whether virtue be founded in sentiment 

. 261 
. 266 
. 271 
. 277 
. 285 
. 291 
. 290 
. 305 




The author's Preface ..... 

PART. I. Evidences of Original Sin from Facts and Events 
Chap. i. The Evidence of the Doctrine from Facts 
Sect. i. All men tend to sin and ruin . 

ii. Universal sin proves a sinful propensity . 
in. This tendency most corrupt and pernicious 
iv. All men sin immediately, &c. 
v. All have more sin than virtue 
vi. Men's proneness to extreme stupidity, &c. 
vii. Generality of mankind, wicked . 
vin. Great means used to oppose wickedness 
ix. Several evasions considered 
Chap. ii. Arguments from universal Mortality . 
PART. II. Proofs of the Doctrine from particular parts of Scriptui 
Chap. i. Observations on the three first Chapters of Genesis 
Sect. i. Concerning Adam's original righteousness . 
ii. Death threatened to our first parents 
in. Adam a federal head, &c. 
Chap. ii. Observations on Texts, chiefly of the Old Testament, &c. 
m. Observations on Texts, principally in the New Testament 
Sect. i. Observations on John iii. 6. . 

ii. Observations on Rom. iii. 9-24. .... 
in. Observations on Rom. v. 6-10, Eph. ii. 3. &c. . 
Chap. iv. Containing observations on Rom. v. 12. &c, . 

Sect. i. Remarks on Dr. Taylor's way of explaining this text 
ii. The true scope of Rom. v. 12, &c. 
PART III. Evidence of the Doctrine from Redemption by Christ 
Chap. i. Proofs from Redemption by Christ 
ii. Proof from Application of Redemption 
PART. IV. Containing Answers to Objections 
Chap. i. The Objection from the Nature of Sin 
ii. God not the Author of Sin . 
in. The Imputation of Adam's Sin stated 
iv. Several other Objections answered . 












Concerning the Divine Decrees in general, and Election in particular 
Concerning Efficacious Grace . . 

Observations Concerning Faith . . 









Rom. ii. 16. It is not of him that willkth. 





Concerning the Nature of the Will. 

It may possibly be thought, that there is no great need of going about to 
define or describe the Will ; this word being generally as well understood as 
any other words we can use to explain it : and so perhaps it would be, had not 
philosophers, metaphysicians and polemic divines brought the matter into ob- 
scurity by the things they have said of it. But since it is so, I think it may be 
of some use, and will tend to the greater clearness in the following discourse, 
to say a few things concerning it. 

And therefore I observe, that the Will (without any metaphysical refining) 
is plainly, that by which the mind chooses any thing. The faculty of the Will 
is that faculty or power or principle of mind by which it is capable of choosing 
an act of the Will is the same as an act of choosing or choice. 

If any think it is a more perfect definition of the Will, to say, that it is that by 
which the soul either chooses or refuses ; I am content with it : though I think 
that it is enough to say, it is that by which the soul chooses : for in°every act 
of Will whatsoever, the mind chooses one thing rather than another ; it chooses 
something rather than the contrary, or rather than the want or non-existence of that 
thing. So in every act of refusal, the mind chooses the absence of the thing 
refused ; the positive and the negative are set before the mind for its choice, 
and it chooses the negative ; and the mind's making its choice in that case is 
properly the act of the Will; the Will's determining between the two is a vol- 
untary determining ; but that is the same thing as making a choice. So that 
whatever names we call the act of the Will by, choosing, refusing, approving, 
disapproving, liking, disliking, embracing, rejecting, determining, directing, 
commanding, forbidding, inclining or being averse, a being pleased or displeased 
with ; all may be reduced to this of choosing. For the soul to act voluntarily, 
is evermore to act electively. 

Mr. Locke* says, " the Will signifies nothing but a power or ability to pre- 
fer or choose." And in the foregoing page says, " the word preferring seems 
best to express the act of volition j" but adds, that " it does it not precisely ; 

__ * Human Understanding. Edit. 7. vol. i. p. 197. 

Vol. II. 1 


for (says he) though a man would prefer flying to walking, yet who can say ne 
ever wills it V 9 But the instance he mentions does not prove that there is any 
thing else in willing, but merely preferring : for it should be considered what is 
the next and immediate object of the Will, with respect to a man's walking, or 
any other external action ; which is not being removed from one place to another ; 
on the earth, or through the air ; these are remoter objects of preference ; but 
such or such an immediate exertion of himself. The thing nextly chosen 01 
preferred when a man wills to walk, is not his being removed to such a place 
where he would be, but such an exertion and motion of his legs and feet, &c. in 
order to it. And his willing such an alteration in his body in the present mo- 
ment, is nothing else but his choosing or preferring such an alteration in his 
body at such a moment, or his liking it better than the forbearance of it. And 
God has so made and established the human nature, the soul being united to a 
body in proper state, that the soul preferring or choosing such an immediate ex- 
ertion or alteration of the body, such an alteration instantaneously follows. 
There is nothing else in the actions of my mind, that I am conscious of while I 
walk, but only my preferring or choosing, through successive moments, that 
there should be such alterations of my external sensations and motions ; together 
with a concurring habitual expectation that it will be so ; having ever found by 
experience, that on such an immediate preference, such sensations and motions 
do actually, instantaneously, and constantly arise. But it is not so in the case of 
flying : though a man may be said remotely to choose or prefer flying ; yet he 
does not choose or prefer, incline to or desire, under circumstances in view, any 
immediate exertion of the members of his body in order to it ; because he has no 
expectation that he should obtain the desired end by any such exertion ; and he 
does not prefer or incline to any bodily exertion or effort under this apprehended 
circumstance, of its being wholly in vain. So that if we carefully distinguish 
the proper objects of the several acts of the Will, it will not appear by this, and 
such like instances, that there is any difference between volition and preference ; 
or that a man's choosing, liking best, or being best pleased with a thing, are not 
the same with his willing that thing ; as they seem to be according to those 
general and more natural notions of men, according to which language is formed. 
Thus an act of the Will is commonly expressed by its pleasing a man to do 
thus or thus ; and a man's doing as he wills, and doing as he pleases, are the 
same thing in common speech. 

Mr. Locke* says, " the Will is perfectly distinguished from Desire ; which 
in the very- same action may have a quite contrary tendency from that which our 
Wills set us upon. A man (says he) whom I cannot deny, may oblige me to use 
persuasions to another, which, at the same time I am speaking, I may wish may 
not prevail on him. In this case it is plain the Will and Desire run counter." I 
do not suppose, that Will and Desire are words of precisely the same significa- 
tion : W'ill seems to be a word of a more general signification, extending to things 
present and absent. Desire respects something absent. I may prefer my present 
situation and posture, suppose, sitting still, or having my eyes open, and so may 
will it. But yet I cannot think they are so entirely distinct, that they can ever 
be properly said to run counter. A man never, in any instance, wills any thing 
contrary to his desires, or desires any thing contrary to his Will The foremen- 
tioned instance, which Mr. Locke produces, does not prove that he ever does. 
He may, on some consideration or other, will to utter speeches which have a 
tendency to persuade another, and still may desire that they may not persuade 
.him : but yet his Will and Desire do not run counter. The thing which he wills, 

* Human Understanding, vol. i. p. 203, 204. 


the very same he desires ; and he does not will a thing, and desire the contrary 
in any particular. In this instance, it is not carefully observed, what is the thing 
willed, and what is the thing desired : if it were, it would be found that Will and 
Desire do not clash in the least. The thing willed on some consideration, is to 
utter such words ; and certainly, the same consideration, so influences him, that 
he does not desire the contrary : all things considered, he chooses to utter such 
words, and does not desire not to utter them. And so as to the thing which Mr. 
Locke speaks of as desired, viz., that the words, though they tend to persuade, 
should not be effectual to that end ; his Will is not contrary to this ; he does not 
will that they should be effectual, but rather wills that they should not, as he 
desires. In order to prove that the Will and Desire may run counter, it should 
be shown that they may be contrary one to the other in the same thing, or with 
respect to the very same object of Will or Desire : but here the objects are two ; 
and in each, taken by themselves, the Will and Desire agree. And it is no 
wonder that they should not agree in difFerent things, however little distinguished 
they are in their nature. The Will may not agree with the Will, nor Desire 
agree with Desire, m difFerent things. As in this very instance which Mr. Locke 
mentions, a person may, on some consideration, desire to use persuasions, and 
at the same time may desire they may not prevail ; but yet nobody will say, 
that Desire runs counter to Desire ; or that this proves that Desire is perfectly 
a distinct thing from Desire. — The like might be observed of the other instance 
Mr. Locke produces, of a man's desiring to be eased of pain, &c. 

But not to dwell any longer on this, whether Desire and Will and whether 
Preference and Volition be precisely the same things or no; yet, I trust it will 
be allowed by all, that in every act of Will there is an act of choice ; that in 
every volition there is a preference, or a prevailing inclination of the soul, 
whereby the soul, at that instant, is out of a state of perfect indifference, with 
respect to the direct object of the volition. So that in every act, or going forth 
of the Will, there is some preponderation of the mind or inclination, one way 
rather than another ; and the soul had rather have or do one thing than another, 
or than not have or do that thing ; and that there, where there is absolutely no 
preferring or choosing, but a perfect continuing equilibrium, there is no volition. 


Concerning the Determination of the Will. 

By determining the Will, if the phrase be used with any meaning, must be 
intended, causing that the act of the Will or choice should be thus, and not 
otherwise : and the Will is said to be determined, when, in consequence of some 
action or influence, its choice is directed to, and fixed upon a particular object. 
As when we speak of the determination of motion, we mean causing the motion 
of the body to be such a way, or in such a direction, rather than another. 

To talk of the determination of the Will, supposes an effect, which must 
have a cause. If the Will be determined, there is a determiner. This must be 
supposed to be intended even by them that say, the Will determines itself. If 
it be so, the Will is both determiner and determined ; it is a cause that acts and 
produces effects upon itself, and is the object of its own influence and action. 

With respect to that grand inquiry, What determines the Will 1 it would be 
very tedious and unnecessary at present to enumerate and examine *11 the various 
opinions which have been advanced concerning this matter; nor is it needful 


that I should enter into a particular disquisition of all points debated in disputes 
on that question, whether the Will always follows the last dictate of the under- 
standing. It is sufficient to my present purpose to say, it is that motive, which, 
as it stands in the view of the mind, is the strongest, that determines the Will. 
But it may be necessary that I should a little explain my meaning in this. 

By motive, I mean the whole of that which moves, excites or invites the 
mind to volition, whether that be one thing singly, or many things conjunctly. 
Many particular things may concur and unite their strength to induce the mind ; 
and, when it is so, all together are as it were one complex motive. And when 
I speak of the strongest motive, I have respect to the strength of the whole that 
operates to induce to a particular act of volition, whether that be the strength 
of one thing alone, or of many together. 

Whatever is a motive, in this sense, must be something that is extant in the 
view or apprehension of the understanding, or perceiving faculty. Nothing can 
induce or invite the mind to will or act any thing, any further than it is per- 
ceived, or is some way or other in the mind's view; for what is wholly 
unperceived, and perfectly out of the mind's view, cannot affect the mind at all. 
It is most evident, that nothing is in the mind, or reaches it, or takes any hold 
of it, any otherwise than as it is perceived or thought of. 

And I think it must also be allowed by all, that every thing that is properly 
called a motive, excitement or inducement to a perceiving, willing agent, has 
some sort and degree of tendency or advantage to move or excite the Will, pre- 
vious to the effect, or to the act of the Will excited. This previous tendency ot 
the motive is what I call the strength of the motive. That motive which has a 
less degree of previous advantage or tendency to move the Will, or that appears 
less inviting, as it stands in the view of the mind, is what I call a weaker motive. 
On the contrary, that which appears most inviting, and has, by what appears 
concerning it to the understanding or apprehension, the greatest degree of pre- 
vious tendency to excite and induce the choice, is what I call the strongest 
motive. And in this sense, I suppose the Will is always determined by the 
strongest motive. 

Things that exist in the view of the mind have their strength, tendency or 
advantage to move or excite its Will, from many things appertaining to the 
nature and circumstances of the thing viewed, the nature and circumstances of 
the mind that views, and the degree and manner of its view ; of which it would 
perhaps be hard to make a perfect enumeration. But so much I think may be 
determined in general, without room for controversy, that whatever is perceived 
or apprehended by an intelligent and voluntary agent, which has the nature and 
influence of a motive to volition or choice, is considered or viewed as good ; nor 
has it any tendency to invite or engage the election of the soul in any further 
degree than it appears such. For to say otherwise, would be to say, that things 
that appear have a tendency by the appearance they make, to engage the mind 
to elect them, some other way than by their appearing eligible to it ; which is 
absurd. And therefore it must be true, in some sense, that the Will alwavs is 
as the greatest apparent good is. For the right understanding of this, two 
things must be well and distinctly observed. 

1. It must be observed in what sense I use the term good; namely, as of 
the same import with agreeable. To appear good to the mind, as I use the 
phrase, is the same as to appear agreeable, or seem pleasing to the mind. Cer- 
tainly nothing appears inviting and eligible to the mind, or tending to engage its 
inclination and choice, considered as evil or disagreeable ; nor, indeed, as indiffer- 
ent, and neither agreeable nor disagreeable. But if it tends to draw the 


inclination, and move the Will, it must be under the notion of that which suits 
the mind. And therefore that must have the greatest tendency to attract and 
engage it, which, as it stands in the mind's view, suits it best, and pleases it 
most ; and in that sense, is the greatest apparent good : to say otherwise, is 
little, if any thing, short of a direct and plain contradiction. 

The word good, in this sense, includes in its signification, the removal or 
avoiding of evil, or of that which is disagreeable and uneasy. It is agreeable 
and pleasing to avoid what is disagreeable and displeasing, and to have uneasi- 
ness removed. So that here is included what Mr. Locke supposes determines 
the Will. For when he speaks of uneasiness as determining the Will, he must 
be understood as supposing that the end or aim which governs in the volition or 
act of preference, is the avoiding or. removal of that uneasiness ; and that is the 
same thing as choosing and seeking what is more easy and agreeable. 

2. When I say, the Will is as the greatest apparent good is, or (as I have 
explained it) that volition has always for its object the thing which appears 
most agreeable ; it must be carefully observed, to avoid confusion and needless 
objection, that I speak of the direct and immediate object of the act of volition ; 
and not some object that the act of Will has not an immediate, but only an 
indirect and remote respect to. Many acts of volition have some remote relation 
to an object, that is different from the thing most immediately willed and chosen. 
Thus, when a drunkard has his liquor before him, and he has to choose whether 
to drink it or no ; the proper and immediate objects, about which his present 
volition is conversant, and between which his choice now decides, are his own 
acts, in drinking the liquor, or letting it alone ; and this will certainly be done 
according to what, in the present view of his mind, taken in the whole of it, is 
most agreeable to him. If he chooses or wills to drink it, and not to let it 
alone ; then this action, as it stands in the view of his mind, with all that be- 
longs to its appearance there, is more agreeable and pleasing than letting it 

But the objects to which this act of volition may relate more remotely, and 
between which his choice may determine more indirectly, are the present plea- 
sure the man expects by drinking, and the future misery which he judges will 
be the consequence of it : he may judge that this future misery when it comes, 
will be more disagreeable and unpleasant, than refraining from drinking now 
would be. But these two things are not the proper objects that the act of 
volition spoken of is nextly conversant about. For the act of Will spoken of 
is concerning present drinking or forbearing to drink. If he wills to drink, then 
drinking is the proper object of the act of his Will ; and drinking, on some 
account or other, now appears most agreeable to him, and suits him best. If he 
chooses to refrain, then refraining is the immediate object of his Will, and is 
most pleasing to him. If in the choice he makes in the case, he prefers a 
present pleasure to a future advantage, which he judges will be greater when it 
comes; then a lesser present pleasure appears more agreeable to him than a 
greater advantage at a distance. If, on the contrary, a future advantage is 
preferred, then that appears most agreeable, and suits him best. And so still 
the present volition is as the greatest apparent good at present is. 

1 have rather chosen to express myself thus, that the Will always is as the 
greatest apparent good, or, as what appears most agreeable, is, than to. say that 
the Wil. is determined by the greatest apparent good, or by what seems most 
agreeable ; because an appearing most agreeable or pleasing to the mind, and 
the mind's preferring and choosing, seem hardly to be properly and perfectly 
distinct. If strict propriety of speech be insisted on, it may more properly be 


said, that the voluntary action which is the immediate consequence and fruit of 
the mind's volition or choice, is determined by that which appears most "agreea- 
ble, than that the preference or choice itself is ; but that the act of volition itsell 
is always determined by that in or about the mind's view of the object, which 
causes it to appear most agreeable. I say, in or about the mind's view of the 
object, because what has influence to render an object in view agreeable, is no1 
only what appears in the object viewed, but also the manner of the view, anc 
the state and circumstances of the mind that views. Particularly to enumerate 
all things pertaining to the mind's view of the objects of volition, which have 
influence in their appearing agreeable to the mind, would be a matter of no 
small difficulty, and might require a treatise by itself, and is not necessary to my 
present purpose. I shall therefore only mention some things in general. 

I. One thing that makes an object proposed to choice agreeable, is the ap- 
parent nature and circumstances of the object. And there are various things of 
this sort, that have a hand in rendering the object more or less agreeable ; as, 

1. That which appears in the object, which renders it beautiful and plea- 
sant, or deformed and irksome to the mind ; viewing it as it is in itself. 

2. The apparent degree of pleasure or trouble attending the object, or the 
consequence of it. Such concomitants and consequences being viewed as cir- 
cumstances of the object, are to be considered as belonging to it, and as it were 
parts of it ; as it stands in the mind's view, as a proposed object cf choice. 

3. The apparent state of the pleasure or trouble that appears, with respect 
to distance of time ; being either nearer or farther off. It is a thing in itself 
agreeable to the mind, to have pleasure speedily ; and disagreeable to have it 
delayed ; so that if there be two equal degrees of pleasure set in the mind's view, 
and all other things are equal, but only one is beheld as near, and the other far 
off; the nearer will appear most agreeable, and so will be chosen. Because, 
though the agreeableness of the objects be exactly equal, as viewed in them- 
selves, yet not as viewed in their circumstances; one of them having the 
additional agreeableness of the circumstance of nearness. 

II. Another thing that contributes to the agreeableness of an object of choice, 
as it stands in the mind's view, is the manner of the view. If the object be 
something which appears connected with future pleasure, not only will the 
degree of apparent pleasure have influence, but also the manner of the view, 
especially in two respects. 

I With respect to the degree of judgment, or firmness of assent, with which 
the mind judges the pleasure to be future. Because it is more agreeable to have 
a certain happiness, than an uncertain one ; and a pleasure viewed as more 
probable, all other things being equal, is more agreeable to the mind, than that 
which is viewed as less probable. 

2. With respect to the degree of the idea of the future pleasure. W T ith re- 
gard to things which are the subject of our thoughts, either past, present, or 
future, we have much more of an idea or apprehension of some things than 
others ; that is, our idea is much more clear, lively and strong. Thus the ideas 
we have of sensible things by immediate sensation, are usually much more lively 
than those we have by mere imagination, or by contemplation of them when 
absent. My idea of the sun, when I look upon it, is more vivid than when I 
only think of it. Our idea of the sweet relish of a delicious fruit, is usually 
stronger when we taste it, than when we only imagine it. And sometimes the 
ideas we have of things by contemplation, are much stronger and clearer, than 
at other times. Thus, a man at one time has a much stronger idea of the plea- 
sure which is to be enjoyeo m eating some sort of food that he loves, than at 


another. Now the degree, or strength of the idea or sense that men have of 
future good or evil, is one thing that has great influence on their minds to excite 
choice or volition. When of two kinds of future pleasure, which the mind 
considers of, and are presented for choice, both are supposed exactly equal by 
the judgment, and both equally certain, and all other things are equal, but only 
one of them is what the mind has a far more lively sense of, than of the other ; 
this- has the greatest advantage by far to affect and attract the mind, and move 
the Will. It is now more agreeable to the mind, to take the pleasure it has a 
strong and lively sense of, than that which it has only a faint idea of. The view 
of the former is attended with the strongest appetite, and the greatest uneasiness 
attends the want of it ; and it is agreeable to the mind to have uneasiness 
removed, and its appetite gratified. And if several future enjoyments are 
presented together, as competitors for the choice of the mind, some of them 
judged to be greater, and Others less ; the mind also having a greater sense and 
more lively idea of the good of some of them, and of others a less ; and some 
are viewed as of greater certainty or probability than others ; and those enjoy- 
ments that appear most agreeable in one of these respects, appear least so in 
others ; in this case, all other things being equal, the agreeableness of a proposed 
object of choice will be in a degree some way compounded of the degree of 
good supposed by the judgment, the degree of apparent probability or certainty 
of that good, and the degree of the view or sense, or liveliness of the idea the 
mind has of that good ; because all together concur to constitute the degree in 
which the object appears at present agreeable ; and accordingly volition will 
be determined. 

I might further observe, the state of the mind that views a proposed object 
of choice, is another thing that contributes to the agreeableness or disagreeable- 
ness of that object ; the particular temper which the mind has by nature, or 
that has been introduced and established by education, example, custom, or some 
other means ; or the frame or state that the mind is in on a particular occasion. 
That object which appears agreeable to one, does not so to another. And the 
same object does not always appear alike agreeable, to the same person, at 
different times. It is most agreeable to some men, to follow their reason ; and 
to others, to follow their appetites : to some men it is more agreeable to deny a 
vicious inclination, than to gratify it ; others it suits best to gratify the vilest 
appetites. It is more disagreeable to some men than others, to counteract a 
former resolution. In these respects, and many others which might be men- 
tioned, different things will be most agreeable to different persons ; and not only 
so, but to the same persons at different times. 

But possibly it is needless and improper, to mention the frame and state ol 
the mind, as a distinct ground of the agreeableness of objects from the other 
two mentioned before, viz., the apparent nature and circumstances of the 
objects viewed, and the manner of the view ; perhaps if we strictly consider the 
matter, the different temper and state of the mind makes no alteration as to the 
agreeableness of objects, any other way than as it makes the objects themselves 
appear differently beautiful or deformed, having apparent pleasure or pain 
attending them ; and as it occasions the manner of the view to be different, 
causes the idea of beauty or deformity, pleasure or uneasiness to be more or 
less lively. 

However, I think so much is certain, that volition, in no one instance that 
can be mentioned, is otherwise than the greatest apparent, good is, in the manner 
which has been explained. The choice of the mind never departs from that 
which at that time, and with respect to the direct and immediate objects of 


that decision of the mind, appears most agreeable and pleasing, all things con- 
sidered. If the immediate objects of the Will are a man's own actions, then 
those actions which appear most agreeable to him he wills. If it be now most 
agreeable to him, all things considered, to walk, then he wills to walk. If it 
be now, upon the whole of what at present appears to him, most agreeable to 
speak, then he chooses to speak : if it suits him best to keep silence, then he 
chooses to keep silence. There is scarcely a plainer and more universal dictate 
of the sense and experience of mankind, than that, when men act voluntarily, 
and do what they please, then they do what suits them best, or what is most 
agreeable to them. To say, that they do what they please, or what pleases 
them, but yet do not do what is agreeable to them, is the same thing as to say 
they do what they please, but do not act their pleasure ; and that is to say, tha' 
they do what they please, and yet do not do what they please. 

It appears from these things, that in some sense, the Will always follows 
the last dictate of the understanding. But then the understanding must be taken 
in a large sense, as including the whole faculty of perception or apprehension, 
and no? merely what is called reason or judgment. If by the dictate of the 
understanding is meant what reason declares to be best or most for the person's 
happiness, taking in the whole of his duration, it is not true, that the Will always 
follows the last dictate of the understanding. Such a dictate of reason is quite 
a different matter from things appearing now most agreeable j all things being 
put together which pertain to the mind's present perceptions, apprehensions or 
ideas, in any respect. Although that dictate of reason, when it takes place, is 
one thing that is put into the scales, and is to be considered as a thing that has 
concern in the compound influence which moves and induces the Will ; and is 
one thing that is to be considered in estimating the degree of that appearance 
of good which the Will always follows ; either as having its influence added 
to other things, or subducted from them. When it concurs with other things, 
then its weight is added to them, as put into the same scale ; but when it 
is against them, it is as a weight in the opposite scale, where it resists the 
influence of other things : yet its resistance is often overcome by their greater 
weight, and so the act of the Will is determined in opposition to it. 

The things which I have said, may, I hope, serve in some measure, to illus- 
trate and confirm the position I laid down in the beginning of this section, viz., 
that the will is always determined by the strongest motive, or by that view of 
the mind which has the greatest degree of previous tendency to excite volition. 
But whether I have been so happy as rightly to explain the thing wherein consists 
the strength of motives, or not, yet my failing in this will not overthrow the 
position itself; which carries much of its own evidence with it, and is the thing 
of chief importance to the purpose of the ensuing discourse : and the truth of it, 
I hope, will appear with great clearness, before I have finished what I have to 
say on the subject of human liberty. 


Concerning the meaning of the terms Necessity, Impossibility, Inability, &c, and 

of Contingence. 

The words necessary, impossible, &c, are abundantly used in controversies 
about Free Will and moral agency ; and therefore the sense in which thev are 
should be clearly understood. 


Here I might say, that a thing is then said to be necessary, when it must be 
and cannot be otherwise. But this would not properly be a definition of Neces- 
sity, or an explanation of the word, any more than if 1 explained the word musty 
by there being a necessity. The words must, can, and cannot, need explication, 
as much as the words necessary and impossible ; excepting that the former are 
words that children commonly use, and know something of the meaning of earlier 
than the latter. 

The word necessary, as used in common speech, is a relative term ; and 
relates to some supposed opposition made to the existence of the thing spoken 
of, which is overcome, or proves in vain to hinder or alter it. That is necessary, 
in the original and proper sense of the word, which is, or will be, notwithstand- 
ing all supposable opposition. To - say, that a thing is necessary, is the same 
thing as to say, that it is impossible it should not be : but the word impossible 
is manifestly a relative term, and has reference to supposed power exerted to 
bring a thing to pass, which is insufficient for the effect ; as the word unable is 
relative, and has relation to ability or endeavor which is insufficient ; and as the 
word irresistible is relative, and has always reference to resistance which is 
made, or may be made to some force or power tending to an effect, and is insuf- 
ficient to withstand the power or hinder the effect. The common notion of 
necessity and impossibility implies something that frustrates endeavor or desire. 

Here several things are to be noted. 

1. Things are said to be necessary in general, which are or will be notwith- 
standing any supposable opposition from us or others, or from whatever quarter. 
But things are said to be necessary to us, which are or will be notwithstanding 
all opposition supposable in the case from us. The same may be observed of 
the word imposs-ible, and other such like terms. 

2. These terms necessary, impossible, irresistible, &c, do especially belong 
to the controversy about liberty and moral agency, as used in the latter of the 
two senses now mentioned, viz., as necessary or impossible to us, and with rela- 
tion to any supposable opposition or endeavor of ours. 

3. As the word JYecessity in its vulgar and common use, is relative, and 
has always reference to some supposable insufficient opposition ; so when we 
speak of any thing as necessary to us, it is with relation to some supposable 
opposition of our Wills, or some voluntary exertion or effort of ours to the con- 
trary ; for we do not properly make opposition to an event, any otherwise than 
as we voluntarily oppose it. Things are said to be what must be, or necessarily 
are, as to us, when they are, or will be, though we desire or endeavor the 
contrary, or try to prevent or remove their existence : but such opposition of 
ours always either consists in, or implies, opposition of our Wills. 

It is manifest that all such like words and phrases, as vulgarly used, are 
used and accepted in this manner. A thing is said to be necessary, when we 
cannot help it, let us do what we will. So any thing is said to be impossible 
to us, when we would do it, or would have it brought to pass, and endeavor 
it ; or at least may be supposed to desire and seek it ; but all our desires and 
endeavors are, or would be vain. And that is said to be irresistible, which 
overcomes all our opposition, resistance, and endeavors to the contrary. And 
we are said to be unable to do a thing, when our supposable desires and endeav- 
ors to do it are insufficient. 

We are accustomed, in the common use of language, to apply and under- 
stand these phrases in this sense ; we grow up with such a habit ; which by 
the daily use of these terms, in such a sense, from our childhood, becomes fixed 
and settled ; so that the idea of a relation to a supposed will, desire and endeavor 

Vol. II. 2 


of ours, is strongly connected with these terms, and naturally excited in our 
minds, whenever we hear the words used. Such ideas, and these words, are 
so united and associated, that they unavoidably go together ; one suggests the 
other, and carries the other with it, and never can be separated as long as we 
live. And if we use the words, as terms of art, in another sense, yet, unless we 
are exceeding circumspect and wary, we shall insensibly slide into the vulgar 
use of them, and so apply the words in a very inconsistent manner : this habit- 
ual connection of ideas will deceive and confound us in our reasonings and 
discourses, wherein we pretend to use these terms in that manner, as terms of art 

4. It follows from what has been observed, that when these terms necessary ', 
impossible, irresistible, unable, &c, are used in cases wherein no opposition, or 
insufficient will or endeavor, is supposed, or can be supposed, but the very 
nature of the supposed case itself excludes and denies any such opposition, will 
or endeavor, these terms are then not used in their proper signification, but 
quite beside their use in common speech. The reason is manifest ; namely, that 
in such cases we cannot use the words with reference to a supposable oppo- 
sition, will or endeavor. And therefore, if any man uses these terms in such 
cases, he either uses them nonsensically, or in some new sense, diverse from their 
original and proper meaning. As for instance ; if a man should affirm after 
this manner, that it is necessary for a man, and what must be, that a man 
should choose virtue rather than vice, during the time that he prefers virtue to 
vice ; and that it is a thing impossible and irresistible, that it should be other- 
wise than that he should have this choice, so long as this choice continues ; such 
a man w T ould use the terms must, irresistible, &c, with perfect insignificance 
and nonsense ; or in some new sense, diverse from their common use ; which is 
with reference, as has been observed, to supposable opposition, unwillingness 
and resistance ; whereas, here, the very supposition excludes and denies any 
such thing : for the case supposed is that of being willing and choosing. 

5. It appears from what has been said, that these terms necessary, impossible, 
&c, are often used by philosophers and metaphysicians in a sense quite diverse 
from their common use and original signification : for they apply them to many 
cases in which no opposition is supposed or supposable. Thus they use them 
with respect to God's existence before the creation of the world, when there 
was no other being but He : so with regard to many of the dispositions ano 
acts of the Divine Being, such as his loving himself, his loving righteousness, 
hating sin, &c. So they apply these terms to many cases of the inclinations 
and actions of created intelligent beings, angels and men ; wherein all oppo- 
sition of the Will is shut out and denied, in the very supposition of the case. 

Metaphysical or Philosophical Necessity is nothing different from their 
".ertainty. I speak not now of the certainty of knowledge, but the certainty 
that is in things themselves, which is the foundation of the certainty of the know- 
ledge of them ; or that wherein lies the ground of the infallibility of the 
proposition which affirms them. 

What is sometimes given as the definition of philosophical Necessity, namely, 
that by which a thing cannot but be, or whereby it cannot be otherwise, fails 
of being a proper explanation of it, on two accounts : first, the words can, or 
cannot, need explanation as much as the word Necessity ; and the former may 
as well be explained by the latter, as the latter by the former. Thus, if any one 
asked us what we mean, when we say, a thing cannot but be, w T e might explain 
ourselves by saying, we mean, it must necessarily be so ; as well as explain 
Necessity, by saying, it is that by which a thing cannot but be. And secondly, 
this definition is liable to the forementioned great inconvenience : the words 


cannot, or unable, are properly relative, and have relation to power exerted, or 
that may be exerted, in order to the thing spoken of ; to which, as I have now 
observed, the word Necessity, as used by philosophers, has no reference. 

Philosophical Necessity is really nothing else than the full and fixed connec- 
tion between the things signified by the subject and predicate of a proposition, 
which affirms something to be true. When there is such a connection, then 
the thing affirmed in the proposition is necessary, in a philosophical sense ; 
whether any opposition, or contrary effort be supposed, or supposable in the 
case, or no. When the subject and predicate of the proposition, which affirms 
the existence of any thing, either substance, quality, act or circumstance, have a 
full and certain connection, then the existence or being of that thing is said to 
be necessary in a metaphysical sense. And in this sense I use the word Necessity, 
in the following discourse, when I endeavor to prove that Necessity is not incon- 
sistent with liberty. 

The subject and predicate of a proposition which affirms existence of 
something, may have a full, fixed, and certain connection several ways. 

(1.) They may have a full and perfect connection in and of themselves; 
because it may imply a contradiction, or gross absurdity, to suppose them 
not connected. Thus many things are necessary in their own nature. So 
the eternal existence of being, generally considered, is necessary in itself; because 
it would be in itself the greatest absurdity, to deny the existence of being in 
general, or to say there was absolute and universal nothing ; and is as it were 
the sum of all contradictions ; as might be shown, if this were a proper place 
for it. So God's infinity, and other attributes are necessary. So it is necessary 
in its own nature, that two and two should be four ; and it is necessary, that all 
right lines drawn from the centre of a circle to the circumference should be 
equal. It is necessary, fit and suitable, that men should do to others, as they 
would that they should do to them. So innumerable metaphysical and mathe- 
matical truths are necessary in themselves ; the subject and predicate of the 
proposition which affirms them, are perfectly connected of themselves. 

(2.) The connection of the subject and predicate of a proposition which 
affirms the existence of something, may be fixed and made certain, because the 
existence of that thing is already come to pass ; and either now is, or has been ; 
and so has as it were made sure of existence. And therefore, the proposition 
which affirms present and past existence of it, may by this means be made 
certain, and necessarily and unalterably true. The past event has fixed and 
decided the matter, as to its existence ; and has made it impossible but that 
existence should be truly predicated of it. Thus the existence of whatever is 
already come to pass, is now become necessary ; it is become impossible it 
should be otherwise than true, that such a thing has been. 

(3.) The subject and predicate of a proposition which affirms something to 
be, may have a real and certain connection consequentially ; and so the 
existence of the thing may be consequentially necessary ; as it may be surely 
and firmly connected with something else, that is necessary in one of the former 
respects. As it is either fully and thoroughly connected with that which is 
absolutely necessary in its own nature, or with something which has already 
received and made sure of existence. This Necessity lies in, or may be explained 
by the connection of two or more propositions one with another. Things which 
are perfectly connected with other things that are necessary, are necessary 
themselves, by a Necessity of consequence. 

And here it may be observed, that all things which are future, or which will 
hereafter begin to be, which can be said to be necessary, are necessary only in 


this last way. Their existence is not necessary in itself; for if so, they always 
would have existed. Nor is their existence become necessary by being made 
sure, by being already come to pass. Therefore, the only way that any thing 
that is to come to pass hereafter, is or can be necessary, is by a connection with 
something that is necessary in its own nature, or something that already is, or 
has been°; so that the one being supposed, the other certainly follows. And 
this also is the only way that all things past, excepting those which were from 
eternity, could, be necessary before they came to pass, or could come to pass 
necessarily ; and therefore the only way in which any effect or event, or any 
thino- whatsoever that ever has had, or will have a beginning, has come into 
being necessarily, or will hereafter necessarily exist. And therefore this is the 
Necessity which especially belongs to controversies about the acts of the Will. 

It may be of some use in these controversies, further to observe concerning 
metaphysical Necessity, that (agreeably to the distinction before observed of 
Necessity, as vulgarly understood) things that exist may be said to be necessary, 
either with a general or particular Necessity. The existence of a thing may be said 
to be necessary with a general Necessity, when all things whatsoever being 
considered, there is a foundation for certainty of its existence ; or when in the 
most general and universal view of things, the subject and predicate of the 
proposition, which affirms its existence, would appear with an infallible con- 

An event, or the existence of a thing, may be said to be necessary with a 
particular necessity, or with regard to a particular person, thing, or time, when 
nothing that can be taken into consideration, in or about that person, thing, or 
time, alters the case at all, as to the certainty of that event, or the existence of 
that thing ; or can be of any account at all, in determining the infallibility of 
the connection of the subject and predicate in the proposition which affirms the 
existence of the thing ; so that it is all one, as to that person, or thing, at least at 
that time, as if the existence were necessary with a Necessity that is most 
universal and absolute. Thus there are many things that happen to particular 
persons, which they have no hand in, and in the existence of which no will of 
theirs has any concern, at least at that time ; which, whether they are necessary 
or not, with regard to things in general, yet are necessary to them, and with 
regard to any volition of theirs at that time ; as they prevent all acts of the 
will about the affair. I shall have occasion to apply this observation to parti- 
cular instances in the following discourse. Whether the same things that are 
necessary with a particular Necessity, be not also necessary with a general 
Necessity, may be a matter of future consideration. Let that be as it will, it 
alters not the case, as to the use of this distinction of the kinds of Necessity. 

These things may be sufficient for the explaining of the terms necessary and 
necessity, as terms of art, and as often used by metaphysicians, and controversial 
writers in divinity, in a sense diverse from, and more extensive than their 
original meaning in common language, which was before explained. 

What has been said to show the meaning of the terms necessary and neces- 
sity, may be sufficient for the explaining of the opposite terms impossible and 
impossibility. For there is no difference, but only the latter are negative, and 
the former positive. Impossibility is the same as negative Necessity, or a 
Necessity that a thing should not be. And it is used as a term of art in a like 
diversity from the original and vulgar meaning with Necessity. 

The same may be observed concerning the words unable and inability. It 
has been observed, that these terms, in their original and common use, have 
relation to will and endeavor, as supposable in the case, and as insufficient for 


the bringing to pass the thing willed and endeavored. But as these terms are 
often used by philosophers and divines, especially writers on controversies about 
free will, they are used in a quite different, and far more extensive sense, and are 
applied to many cases wherein no will or endeavor for the bringing of the thing 
to pass, is or can be supposed, but is actually denied and excluded in the nature 
of the case. 

As the words necessary, impossible, unable, &c, are used by polemic 
writers, in a sense diverse from their common signification, the like has hap- 
pened to the term contingent. Any thing is said to be contingent, or to come 
to pass by chance or accident, in the original meaning of such words, when its 
connection with its causes or antecedents, according to the established course 
of things, is not discerned ; and so is what we have no means of the foresight of. 
And especially is any thing said to be contingent or accidental with regard to 
is, when any thing comes to pass that we are concerned in, as occasions or 
subjects, without our foreknowledge, and beside our design and scope. 

But the word contingent is abundantly used in a very different sense ; not 
for that whose connection with the series of things we cannot discern, so as to 
foresee the event, but for something which has absolutely no previous ground 
or reason, with which its existence has any fixed and certain connection. 


Of the Distinction of Natural and Moral Necessity, and Inability. 

That Necessity which has been explained, consisting in an infallible con- 
nection of the things signified by the subject and predicate of a proposition, as 
intelligent beings are the subjects of it, is distinguished into moral and natural 

I shall not now stand to inquire whether this distinction be a proper and 
perfect distinction ; but shall only explain how these two sorts of Necessity are 
understood, as the terms are sometimes used, and as they are used in the 
following discourse. 

The phrase, moral Necessity, is used variously ; sometimes it is used for a 
Necessity of moral obligation. So we say, a man is under Necessity, when he 
is under bonds of duty and conscience, which he cannot be discharged from. So 
the word Necessity is often used for great obligation in point of interest. 
Sometimes by moral Necessity is meant that apparent connection of things, 
which is the ground of moral evidence ; and so is distinguished from absolute 
Necessity, or that sure connection of things, that is a foundation for infallible 
certainty. In this sense, moral Necessity signifies much the same as that high 
degree of probability, which is ordinarily sufficient to satisfy, and be relied upon 
by mankind, in their conduct and behavior in the world, as they would consult 
their own safety and interest, and treat others properly as members of society. 
And sometimes by moral Necessity is meant that Necessity of connection and 
consequence, which arises from such moral causes, as the strength of inclination, 
or motives, and the connection which there is in many cases between these, 
and such certain volitions and actions. And it is in this sense, that I use the 
phrase, moral JVecessity, in the following discourse. 

By natural Necessity, as applied to men, I mean such Necessity as men are 
under through the force of natural causes; as distinguished from what are 
called moral causes, such as habits and dispositions of the heart, and moral 


motives and inducements. Thus men placed in certain circumstances, are the 
subjects of particular sensations by Necessity ; they feel pain when their bodies 
are wounded ; they see the objects presented before them in a clear light, when 
their eyes are opened ; so they assent to the truth of certain propositions, as 
soon as the terms are understood ; as that two and two make four, that black is 
not white, that two parallel lines can never cross one another ; so by a natural 
Necessity men's bodies move downw r ards, when there is nothing to support 

But here several things may be noted concerning these two kinds of 

1. Moral Necessity may be as absolute, as natural Necessity. That is, the 
effect maybe as perfectly connected with its moral cause, as a natural necessary 
effect is with its natural cause. Whether the Will in every case is necessarily 
determined by the strongest motive, or whether the Will ever makes any 
resistance to such a motive, or can ever oppose the strongest present inclination, 
or not ; if that matter should be controverted, yet I suppose none will deny, 
bu"- that, in some cases, a previous bias and inclination, or the motive presented, 
may be so powerful, that the act of the Will may be certainly and indissolubly 
connected therewith. When motives or previous biases are very strong, all 
will allow that there is some difficulty in going against them. And if they 
were yet stronger, the difficulty would be still greater. And therefore, if more 
were still added to their strength, to a certain degree, it would make the 
difficulty so great, that it would be wholly impossible to surmount it ; *br this 
plain reason, because whatever power men may be supposed to nave to sur- 
mount difficulties, yet that power is not infinite ; and so goes not beyond certain 
limits. If a man can surmount ten degrees of difficulty of this kind with 
twenty degrees of strength, because the degrees of strength are beyond the 
degrees of difficulty ; yet if the difficulty be increased to thirty, or a hundred, or 
a thousand degrees, and his strength not also increased, his strength will be 
wholly insufficient to surmount the difficulty. As therefore it must be allowed, 
that there may be such a thing as a sure and perfect connection between moral 
causes and effects ; so this only is what I call by the name of moral Necessity. 
2. W 7 hen I use this distinction of moral and natural Necessity, I would not 
be understood to suppose, that if any thing comes to pass by the former kind of 
Necessity, the nature of things is not concerned in it, as well as in the latter. 
I do not mean to determine, that when a moral habit or motive is so strong, 
that the act of the Will infallibly follows, this is not owing to the nature of 
things. But these are the names that these two kinds of Necessity have usually 
been called by ; and they must be distinguished by some names or other j for 
there is a distinction or difference between them, that is very important in its 
consequences ; which difference does not lie so much in the nature of the con- 
nection, as in the two terms connected. The cause with which the effect is 
connected, is of a particular kind, viz., that which is of moral nature ; either 
some previous habitual disposition, or some motive exhibited to the understand- 
ing. And the effect is also of a particular kind ; being likewise of a moral 
nature; consisting in some inclination or volition of the soul or voluntary 

I suppose, that Necessity which is called natural, in distinction from moral 
necessity, is so called, because mere nature, as the word is vulgarly used, is 
concerned, without any thing of choice. The word nature is often used in 
opposition to choice ; not because nature has indeed never any hand in our 
choice ; but this probably comes to pass by means that we first get our notion 


of nature from that discernible and obvious course of events, which we observe 
in many things that our choice has no concern in ; and especially in the material 
world ; which, in very many parts of it, we easily perceive to be in a settled 
course ; the stated order and manner of succession being very apparent. But 
where we do not readily discern the rule and connection, (though there be a 
connection, according to an established law, truly taking place,) we signify the 
manner of event by some other name. Even in many things which are seen in 
the material and inanimate world, which do not discernibly and obviously come 
to pass according to any settled course, men do not call the manner of the event 
by the name of nature, but by such names as accident, chance, contingence, &c. 
So men make a distinction between nature and choice ; as though they were 
completely and universally distinct. . Whereas, I suppose none will deny but 
that choice, in many cases, arises from nature, as truly as other events. But 
the dependence and connection between acts of volition or choice, and their 
causes, according to established laws, is not so sensible and obvious. And we 
observe that choice is as it were a new principle of motion and action, different 
from that established law and order of things which is most obvious, that is 
seen especially in corporeal and sensible things ; and also the choice often 
interposes, interrupts and alters the chain of events in these external objects, 
and causes them to proceed otherwise than they would do, if let alone, and left 
to go on according to the laws of motion among themselves. Hence it is 
spoken of as if it were a principle of motion entirely distinct from nature, and 
properly set in opposition to it. Names being commonly given to things, 
according to what is most obvious, and is suggested by what appears to the 
senses without reflection and research. 

3. It must be observed, that in what has been explained, as signified by the 
name of moral Necessity, the word Necessity is not used according to the 
original design and meaning of the word ; for, as was observed before, such 
terms, necessary, impossible, irresistible, &c, in common speech, and their most 
proper sense, are always relative; having reference to some supposable 
voluntary opposition or endeavor, that is insufficient. But no such opposition, 
or contrary will and endeavor, is supposable in the case of moral Necessity ; 
which is a certainty of the inclination and will itself; which does not 
admit of the supposition of a will to oppose and resist it. For it is absurd 
to suppose the same individual will to oppose itself, in its present act ; or the 
present choice to be opposite to, and resisting present choice ; as absurd as it is 
to talk of two contrary motions, in the same moving body, at the same time. 
And therefore the very case supposed never admits of any trial whether an 
opposing or resisting will can overcome this Necessity. 

What has been said of natural and moral Necessity, may serve to explain 
what is intended by natural and moral Inability. We are said to be naturally 
unable to do a thing, when we cannot do it if we will, because what is most com- 
monly called nature does not allow of it, or because of some impeding defect or 
obstacle that is extrinsic to the will, either in the faculty of understanding, con- 
stitution of body, or external objects. Moral Inability consists not in any of 
these things ; but either in the want of inclination, or the strength of a contrary 
inclination, or the want of sufficient motives in view, to induce and excite the act 
of the will, or the strength of apparent motives to the contrary. Or both these 
may be resolved into one ; and it may be said in one word, that moral Inability 
consists in the opposition or want of inclination. For when a person is unable to 
will or choose such a thing, through a defect of motives, or prevalence of contrary 
motives, it is the same thing as his being unable through the want of an inclination, 


or the prevalence of a contrary inclination, in such circumstances, and under the 
influence of such views. 

To give some instances of this moral Inability. A woman of great honor and 
chastity may have a moral Inability to prostitute herself to her slave. A child of 
great love and duty to his parents, may be unable to be willing to kill his father. 
A very lascivious man, in case of certain opportunities and temptations, and in 
the absence of such and such restraints, may be unable to forbear gratifying his 
lust. A drunkard, under such and such circumstances, may be unable to forbear 
taking of strong drink. A very malicious man may be unable to exert benevo- 
lent acts to an ememy, or to desire his prosperity ; yea, some may be so under the 
power of a vile disposition, that they may be unable to love those who are most 
worthy of their esteem and affection. A strong habit of virtue, and a great de- 
gree of holiness may cause a moral Inability to love wickedness in general, may 
render a man unable to take complacence in wicked persons or things ; or to 
choose a wicked life, and prefer it to a virtuous life. And on the other hand, a 
great degree of habitual wickedness may lay a man under an inability to love 
and choose holiness ; and render him utterly unable to love an infinitely holy 
being, or to choose and cleave to him as his chief good. 

Here it may be of use to observe this distinction of moral Inability, viz., of 
that which is general and habitual, and that which is particular and occasional. 
By a general and habitual moral Inability, I mean an Inability in the heart to all 
exercises or acts of will of that nature or kind, through a fixed and habitual in- 
clination, or an habitual and stated defect, or want of a certain kind of inclination. 
Thus a very ill natured man may be unable to exert such acts of benevolence, as 
another, who is full of good nature, commonly exerts ; and a man, whose heart 
is habitually void of gratitude, may be unable to exert such and such grateful 
acts, through that stated defect of a grateful inclination. By particular and 
occasional moral Inability, I mean an Inability of the will or heart to a particular 
act, through the strength or defect of present motives, or of inducements pre- 
sented to the view of the understanding, on this occasion. If it be so, that the 
will is always determined by the strongest motive, then it must always have an 
Inability, in this latter sense, to act otherwise than it does ; it not being possible, 
in any case, that the will should, at present, go against the motive which has 
now, all things considered, the greatest strength and advantage to excite and 
induce it. The former of these kinds of moral Inability, consisting in that which 
is stated, habitual and general, is most commonly called by the name of Inability, 
because the word Inability, in its most proper and original signification, has 
•espect to some stated defect. 

And this especially obtains the name of Inability also upon another account : 
1 before observed, that the word Inability in its original and most common use, 
is a relative term ; and has respect to will and endeavor, as supposable in the 
case, and as insufficient to bring to pass the thing desired and endeavored. Now 
there may be more of an appearance and shadow of this, with respect to the acts 
which arise from a fixed and strong habit, than others that arise only from 
transient occasions and causes. Indeed will and endeavor against, or diverse 
from present acts of the will, are in no case supposable, whether those acts be 
occasional or habitual ; for that would be to suppose the will, at present, to be 
otherwise than, at present, it is. But yet there may be will and endeavor against 
future acts of the will, or volitions that are likely to take place, as viewed at a 
distance. It is no contradiction to suppose that the acts of the will at one time, 
may be against the acts of the will at another time ; and there may be desires 
and endeavors to prevent or excite future acts of the will ; but such desires and 


endeavors are, in many cases, rendered insufficient and vain, through fixedness of 
habit : when the occasion returns, the strength of habit overcomes, and baffles 
all such opposition. In this respect, a man may be in miserable slavery and 
b( ndage to a strong habit. But it may be comparatively easy to make an altera- 
tion with respect to such future acts as are only occasional and transient ; because 
the occasion or transient cause, if foreseen, may often easily be prevented or avoid- 
ed. On this account, the moral Inability that attends fixed habits, especially 
obtains the name of Inability. And then, as the will may remotely and indirectly 
resist itself, and do it in vain, in the case of strong habits ; so reason may resist 
present acts of the will, and its resistance be insufficient ; and this is more com- 
monly the case also, when the acts arise from strong habit. 

But it must be observed concerning moral Inability, in each kind of it, that 
the word Inability is used in a sense very diverse from its original import. The 
word signifies only a natural Inability, in the proper use of it; and is applied to 
such cases only wherein a present will or inclination to the thing, with respect to 
which a person is said to be unable, is supposable. It cannot be truly said, ac- 
cording to the ordinary use of language, that a malicious man, let him be ever so 
malicious, cannot hold his hand from striking, or that he is not able to show his 
neighbor kindness ; or that a drunkard, let his appetite be ever so strong, cannot 
keep the cup from his mouth. In the strictest propriety of speech, a man has 
a thing in his power, if he has it in his choice, or at his election : and a man 
cannot be truly said to be unable to do a thing, when he can do it if he will. 
It is improperly said, that a person cannot perform those external actions which 
are dependent on the act of the will, and which would be easily performed, if 
the act of the will were present. And if it be improperly said, that he cannot 
perform those external voluntary actions, which depend on the will, it is in some 
respect more improperly said, that he is unable to exert the acts of the will 
themselves ; because it is more evidently false, with respect to these, that he 
cannot if he will : for to say so, is a downright contradiction : it is to say, he 
cannot will, if he does will. And in this case, not only is it true, that it is easy 
for a man to do the thing it he will, but the very willing is the doing ; when 
once he has willed, the thing is performed ; and nothing else remains to be done. 
Therefore, in these things to ascribe a non-performance to the want of power or 
ability, is not just ; because the thing wanting is not a being able, but a being 
willing. There are faculties of mind, and capacity of nature, and every thing 
else sufficient, but a disposition : nothing is wanting but a will. 


Concerning the Notion of Liberty, and of Moral Agency. 

The plain and obvious meaning of the words Freedom and Liberty, in com- 
mon speech, is power, opportunity or advantage, that any one has, to do as he 
pleases. Or in other words, his being free from hinderance or impediment in 
the way of doing, or conducting in any respect, as he wills.* And the contrary 
to Liberty, whatever name we call that by, is a person'k being hindered or unable 
to conduct as he will, or being necessitated to do others ise. 

* I say not only doing, but conducting ; because a voluntary forbearing to do, sitting still, keeping 
silence, &c, are instances of persons' conduct, about which Liberty is exe i ised ; though they are not 
so properly called doing. 

Vol. II. 3 


If this which I have mentioned be the meaning of the word Liberty, in the 
ordinary use of language ; as I trust that none that has ever learned to talk, and 
is unprejudiced, will deny ; then it will follow, that in propriety of speech, neither 
Liberty, nor its contrary, can properly be ascribed to any being or thing, but 
that which has such a faculty, power or property, as is called will. For that 
which is possessed of no such thing as will, cannot have any power or opportunity 
of doing according to its will, nor be necessitated to act contrary to its will, nor 
be restrained from acting agreeably to it. And therefore to talk of Liberty, or 
the contrary, as belonging to the very will itself, is not to speak good sense ; it 
we judge of sense, and nonsense, by the original and proper signification of words. 
For the will itself is not an agent that has a will : the power of choosing itself, 
has not a power of choosing. That which has the power of volition or choice 
is the man or the soul, and not the power of volition itself. And he that has the 
Liberty of doing according to his will, is the agent or doer who is possessed of 
the will ; and not the will which he is possessed of. We say with propriety, 
that a bird let loose has power and Liberty to fly ; but not that the bird's power 
of flying has a power and Liberty of flying. To be free is the property of an 
agent, who is possessed of powers and faculties, as much as to be cunning, valiant, 
bountiful, or zealous. But these qualities are the properties of men or persons ; 
and not the properties of properties. 

There are two things that are contrary to this which is called Liberty in com- 
mon speech. One is constraint ; the same is otherwise called force, compulsion, 
and coaction ; which is a person's being necessitated to do a thing contrary to 
his will. The other is restraint ; which is his being hindered, and not having 
power to do according to his will. But that which has no will, cannot be the 
subject of these things. I need say the less on this head, Mr. Locke having set 
the same thing forth, with so great clearness, in his Essay on the Human Under- 

But one thing more I would observe concerning what is vulgarly called 
Liberty ; namely, that power and opportunity for one to do and conduct as he 
will, or according to his choice, is all that is meant by it ; without taking into 
the meaning of the word anything of the cause or original of that choice; or at 
all considering how the person came to have such a volition ; whether it was 
caused by some external motive or internal habitual bias ; whether it was determin- 
ed by some internal antecedent volition, or whether it happened without a cause ; 
whether it was necessarily connected with something foregoing, or not connect- 
ed. Let the person come by his volition or choice how he will, yet, if he is able, 
and there is nothing in the way to hinder his pursuing and executing his will, 
the man is fully and perfectly free, according to the primary and common notion 
of freedom. 

What has been said may be sufficient to show what is meant by Liberty, 
according to the common notions of mankind, and in the usual and primary 
acceptation of the word : but the word, as used by Arminians, Pelagians and 
others, who oppose the Calvinists, has an entirely different signification. These 
several things belong to their notion of Liberty. 1. That it consists in a self- 
determining power in the will, or a certain sovereignty the will has over itself, 
and its own acts, whereby it determines its own volitions ; so as not to be de- 
pendent in its determinations, on any cause without itself, nor determined by 
any thing prior to its own acts. 2. Indifference belongs to Liberty in their notion 
of it, or that the mind, previous to the act of volition, be in equilibrio. 3. Con- 
tingence is another thing that belongs and is essential to it ; not in the common 
acceptation of the word, as that has been already explained, but as opposed to 


all necessity, or any fixed and certain connection with some previous ground or 
reason of its existence. They suppose the essence of Liberty so much to consist 
in these things, that unless the will of man be free in this sense, he has no real 
freedom, how much soever he may be at Liberty to act according to his will. 

A moral Agent is a being that is capable of those actions that have a moral 
quality, and which can properly be denominated good or evil in a moral sense, 
virtuous or vicious, commendable or faulty. To moral Agency belongs a moral 
faculty, or sense of moral good and evil, or of such a thing as desert or worthi- 
ness, of praise or blame, reward or punishment ; and a capacity which an agent 
has of being influenced in his actions by moral inducements or motives, exhibited 
to the view of understanding and reason, to engage to a conduct agreeable to the 
moral faculty. 

The sun is very excellent and beneficial in its action and influence on the 
earth, in w r arming it, and causing it to bring forth its fruits ; but it is not 
a moral Agent. Its action, though good, is not virtuous or meritorious. Fire 
that breaks out in a city, and consumes great part of it, is very mischievous in 
its operation ; but is not a moral Agent. What it does is not faulty or sinful, 
or deserving of any punishment. The brute creatures are not moral Agents. 
The actions of some of them are very profitable and pleasant ; others are very 
hurtful j yet, seeing they have no moral faculty, or sense of desert, and do not 
act from choice guided by understanding, or with a capacity of reasoning and 
reflecting, but only from instinct, and are not capable of being influenced by 
moral inducements, their actions are not properly sinful or virtuous ; nor are they 
properly the subjects of any such moral treatment for what they do, as moral 
Agents are for their faults or good deeds. 

Here it may be noted, that there is a circumstantial difference between the 
moral Agency of a ruler and a subject. I call it circumstantial, because it lies 
only in the difference of moral inducements they are capable of being influenced 
by, arising from the difference of circumstances. A ruler, acting, in that capa- 
city only, is not capable of being influenced by a moral law, and its sanctions 
of threatenings and promises, rewards and punishments, as the subject is ; though 
both may be influenced by a knowledge of moral good and evil. And therefore 
the moral agency of the Supreme Being, who acts only in the capacity of a ruler 
towards his creatures, and never as a subject, differs in that respect from the 
moral Agency of created intelligent beings. God's actions, and particularly 
those which are to be attributed to him as moral governor, are morally good in 
the highest degree. They are most perfectly holy and righteous ; and we must 
conceive of Hun as influenced in the highest degree, by that which, above all 
others, is properly a moral inducement, viz., the moral good which He sees in 
such and such things : and therefore He is, in the most proper sense, a moral 
Agent, the source of all moral ability and Agency, the fountain and rule of all 
virtue and moral good ; though by reason of his being supreme over all, it is not 
possible He should be under the influence of law or command, promises or threat- 
enings, rewards or punishments, counsels or warnings. The essential qualities 
of a moral Agent are in God, in the greatest possible perfection ; such asunder- 
standing, to perceive the difference between moral good and evil ; a capacity 
of discerning that moral worthiness and demerit, by which some things are 
praiseworthy, others deserving of blame and punishment ; and also a capacity 
of choice, and choice guided by understanding, and a power of acting according 
to his choice or pleasure, and being capable of doing those things which are in 
the highest sense praiseworthy. And herein does very much consist that image 
of God wherein he made man, (which we read of Gen. i. 26, 27, and chapter 


ix. 6,) by which God distinguishes man from the beasts, viz., in those faculties 
and principles of nature, whereby He is capable of moral Agency. Herein very 
much consists the natural image of God ; as his spiritual and moral image, 
wherein man was made at first, consisted in that moral excellency, that ne was 
endowed with. 




Showing the manifest Inconsistence of the Arminian Notion of Liberty of Will, 
consisting in the Will's Self-determining Power. 

Having taken notice of those things which may be necessary to be observed, 
concerning the meaning of the principal terms and phrases made use of in 
controversies, concerning human Liberty, and particularly observed what 
Liberty is, according to the common language and general apprehension of 
mankind, and what it is as understood and maintained by Arminians ; I pro- 
ceed to consider the Arminian notion of the Freedom of the Will, and the 
supposed necessity of it in order to moral agency, or in order to any one's being 
capable of virtue or vice, and properly the subject of command or counsel, praise 
or blame, promises or threatenings, rewards or punishments ; or whether that 
which has been described, as the thing meant by Liberty in common speech, 
be not sufficient, and the only Liberty which makes or can make any one a 
moral agent, and so properly the subject of these things. In this Part, I shall 
consider whether any such thing be possible or conceivable, as that Freedom of 
Will which Arminians insist on; and shall inquire, whether any such sort 
of Liberty be necessary to moral agency, &c, in the next Part. 

And first of all, I shall consider the notion of a self-determining Power in the 
Will ; wherein, according to the Arminians, does most essentially consist the 
Will's Freedom ; and shall particularly inquire, whether it be not plainly absurd, 
and a manifest inconsistence, to suppose that the Will itself determines all the 
free acts of the Will. 

Here I shall not insist on the great impropriety of such phrases and ways of 
speaking as the Will's determining itself; because actions are to be ascribed to 
agents, and not properly to the powers of agents ; which improper way oi 
speaking leads to many mistakes, and much confusion, as Mr. Locke observes. 
But I shall suppose that the Arminians, when they speak of the Will's determin- 
ing itself, do by the Will mean the soul willing. I shall take it for granted, 
that when they speak of the Will, as the determiner, they mean the soul in the 
exercise of a power of willing, or acting voluntarily. I shall suppose this to be 


their meaning, because nothing else can be meant, without the grossest and 
plainest absurdity. In all cases when we speak of the powers or principles of 
acting, as doing such things, we mean that the agents which have these Powers 
of acting, do them in the exercise of those Powers. So when we say, valor 
fights courageously, we mean, the man who is under the influence of valor fights 
courageously. When we say, love seeks the object loved, we mean, the person 
loving seeks that object. When we say, the understanding discerns, we mean 
the soul in the exercise of that faculty. So when it is said, the Will decides or 
determines, the meaning must be, that the person in the exercise of a Power of 
willing and choosing, or the soul acting voluntarily, determines. 

Therefore, if the Will determines all its own free acts, the soul determines 
all the free acts of the Will in the exercise of a Power of willing and choosing ; 
or which is the same thing, it determines them of choice ; it determines its own 
acts by choosing its own acts. If the Will determines the Will, then choice 
orders and determines the choice; and acts of choice are subject to the decision, 
and follow the conduct of other acts of choice. And therefore if the Will 
determines all its own free acts, then every free act of choice is determined by 
a preceding act of choice, choosing that act. And if that preceding act of the 
Will or choice be also a free act, then by these principles, in this act too, the 
Will is self-determined ; that is, this, in like manner, is an act that the soul 
voluntarily chooses ; or, which is the same thing, it is an act determined still 
by a preceding act of the Will, choosing that. And the like may again be 
observed of the last mentioned act, which brings us directly to a contradiction ; 
for it supposes an act of the Will preceding the first act in the whole train, 
directing and determining the rest ; or a free act of the Will, before the first 
free act of the Will. Or else we must come at last to an act of the Will, 
determining the consequent acts, wherein the Will is not self-determined, and 
so is not a free act, in this notion of freedom ; but if the first act in the train, 
determining and fixing the rest, be not free, none of them all can be free j as 
is manifest at first view, but shall be demonstrated presently. 

If the Will, which we find governs the members of the body and determines 
and commands their motions and actions, does also govern itself, and determine 
its own motions and actions, it doubtless determines them the same way, even 
by antecedent volitions. The Will determines which way the hands and feet 
shall move, by an act of volition or choice ; and there is no other way of the 
Will's determining, directing or commanding any thing at all. Whatsoever 
the Will commands, it commands by an act of the Will. And if it has itself 
under its command, and determines itself in its own actions, it doubtless does 
it the same way that it determines other things which are under its command. 
So that if the freedom of the Will consists in this, that it has itself and its own 
actions under its command and direction, and its own volitions are determined 
by itself, it will follow, that every free volition arises from another antecedent 
volition, directing and commanding that ; and if that directing volition be also 
free, in that also the. Will is determined ; that is to say, that directing volition 
tS determined by another going before that, and so on, until we come to the 
first volition in the whole series ; and if that first volition be free, and the Will 
self-determined in it, then that is determined by another volition preceding that, 
which is a contradiction ; because by the supposition, it can have none before 
it to direct or determine it, being the first in the train. But if that first volition 
is not determined by any preceding act of the Will, then that act is not de- 
termined by the Will, and so is not free in the Arminian notion of freedom, 
which consists in the Will's self-determination. And if that first act of the Will, 


which determines and fixes the- subsequent acts, be not free, none of the follow- 
ing acts, which are determined by it, can be free. If we suppose there are five 
acts in the train, the fifth and last determined by the fourth, and the fourth by 
the third, the third by the second, and the second by the first ; if the first is not 
determined by the Will, and so not free, then none of them are truly determined 
by the Will ; that is, that each of them is as it is, and not otherwise, is not first 
owing to the Will, but to the determination of the first in the series, which is 
not dependent on the Will, and is that which the Will has no hand in the 
determination of. And this being that which decides what the rest shall be, 
and determines their existence ; therefore the first determination of their exist- 
ence is not from the Will. The case is just the same, if instead of a chain of 
five acts of the Will, we should suppose a succession of ten, or a hundred, or 
ten thousand. If the first act be not free, being determined by something out 
of the Will, and this determines the next to be agreeable to itself, and that the 
next, and so on ; they are none of them free, but all originally depend on, and 
are determined by some cause out of the Will ; and so all freedom in the case is 
excluded, and no act of the Will can be free, according to this notion of free- 
dom. If we should suppose a long chain of ten thousand links, so connected, 
that if the first link moves, it will move the next, and that the next, and so the 
whole chain must be determined to motion, and in the direction of its motion, 
by the motion of the first link, and that is moved by something else. In this 
case, though all the links but one, are moved by other parts of the same chain ; 
yet it appears that the motion of no one, nor the direction of its motion, is from 
any self- moving or self-determining power in the chain, any more than if every 
link were immediately moved by something that did not belong to the chain. 11 
the Will be not free in the first act, which causes the next, then neither is it free 
in the next, which is caused by that first act ; for though indeed the Will 
caused it, yet it did not cause it freely, because the preceding act, by which it 
was caused, was not free. And again, if the Will be not free in the second act, 
so neither can it be in the third, which is caused by that; because in like 
manner, that third was determined by an act of the Will that was not free. And 
so we may go on to the next act, and from that to the next ; and how long 
soever the succession of acts is, it is all one. If the first on which the whole 
chain depends, and which determines all the rest, be not a free act, the Will is 
not free in causing or determining any one of those acts, because the act by 
which it determines them all, is not a free act, an<J therefore the Will is no more 
free in determining them, than if it did not cause them at all. Thus, this 
Arminian notion of Liberty of the Will, consisting in the Will's self-determin- 
ation, is repugnant to itself, and shuts itself wholly out of the world. 


Several supposed ways of Evading the foregoing Reasoning, considered. 

If to evade the force of what has been observed, it should be said, that 
when the Arminians speak of the Will's determining its own acts, they do not 
mean that the Will determines its acts by any preceding act, or that one act of 
the Will determines another ; but only that the faculty or power of Will, or 
the soul in the use of that power, determines its own volitions ; and that it does 


it without any act going before the act determined ; such an evasion would be 
full of gross absurdity. — I confess, it is an evasion of my own inventing, and I 
do not know but I should wrong the Jirminians, in supposing that any of them 
would make use of it. But it being as good a one as I can invent, I would 
observe upon it a few things. 

First. If the faculty or power of the Will determines an act of volition, or 
the soul in the use or exercise of that power, determines it, that is the same 
thing as for the soul to determine volition by an act of the Will. For an 
exercise of the power of Will, and an act of that power, are the same thing. 
Therefore to say, that the power of Will, or the soul in the use or exercise of 
that power, determines volition, without an act of Will preceding the volition 
determined, is a contradiction. 

Secondly. If a power of Will determines the act of the Will, then a power 
of choosing determines it. For, as was before observed, in every act of Will, 
there is a choice, and a power of willing is a power of choosing. But if a 
power of choosing determines the act of volition, it determines it by choosing it. 
For it is most absurd to say, that a power of choosing determines one thing 
rather than another, without choosing any thing. But if a power of choosing 
determines volition by choosing it, then here is the act of volition determined by 
an antecedent choice, choosing that volition. 

Thirdly. To say, the faculty, or the soul, determines its own volitions, but 
not by any act, is a contradiction. Because, for the soul to direct, decide, or 
determine any thing, is to act ; and this is supposed ; for the soul is here spoken 
of as being a cause in this affair, bringing something to pass, or doing some- 
thing ; or which is the same thing, exerting itself in order to an effect, which 
effect is the determination of volition, or the particular kind and manner of an 
act of Will. But certainly this exertion or action is not the same with the 
effect, in order to the production of which it is exerted, but must be something 
prior to it. 

Again. The advocates for this notion of the freedom of the Will, speak of 
a certain sovereignty in the Will, whereby it has power to determine its own 
volitions. And therefore the determination of volition must itself be an act of 
the Will ; for otherwise it can be no exercise of that supposed power and 

Again. If the Will determine itself, then either the Will is active in de- 
termining its volitions, or it is not. If it be active in it, then the determination 
is an act of the Will ; and so there is one act of the Will determining another 
But if the Will is not active in the determination, then how does it exercise any 
liberty in it ? These gentlemen suppose that the thing wherein the Will ex- 
ercises liberty, is in its determining its own acts. But how can this be, if it be 
not active in determining ? Certainly the Will, or the soul, cannot exercise 
any liberty in that wherein it doth not act, or wherein it doth not exercise 
itself. So that if either part of this dilemma be taken, this scheme of liberty, 
consisting in self-determining power, is overthrown. If there be an act of the 
Will in determining all its own free acts, then one free act of the Will is 
determined by another ; and so we have the absurdity of every free act, even the 
very first, determined by a foregoing free act. But if there be no act or exercise 
of the Will in determining its own acts, then no liberty is exercised in determin- 
ing them. From whence it follows, that no liberty consists in the Will's 
power to determine its ow T n acts ; or, which is the same thing, that there is no 
such thing as liberty consisting in a self-determining power of the Will. 

If it should be said, that although it be true, if the soul determines its own 


volitions, it must be active in so doing, and the determination itself must be an 
act ; yet there is no need of supposing this act to be prior to the volition de- 
termined ; but the Will or soul determines the act of the Will in willing ; it 
determines its own volition, in the very act of volition ; it directs and limits the 
act of the Will, causing it to be so and not otherwise, in exerting the act, 
without any preceding act to exert that. If any should say after this manner, 
they must mean one of these two things : either, 1. That the determining act, 
though it be before the act determined in the order of nature, yet is not before 
it in order of time. Or, 2. That the determining act is not before the act 
determined, either in the order of time or nature, nor is truly distinct from it ; 
but that the soul's determining the act of volition is the same thing with its 
exerting the act of volition ; the mind's exerting such a particular act, is its 
causing and determining the act. Or, 3. That volition has no cause, and is no 
effect ; but comes into existence, with such a particular determination, without 
any ground or reason of its existence and determination. I shall consider these 

1. If all that is meant, be, that the determining act is not before the act 
determined in order of time, it will not help the case at all, though it should be 
allowed. If it be before the" determined act in the order of nature, being the 
cause or ground of its existence, this as much proves it to be distinct from it, 
and independent of it, as if it were before in the order of time. As the cause 
of the particular motion of a natural body in a certain direction, may have no 
distance as to time, yet cannot be the same with the motion effected by it, but 
must be as distinct from it as any other cause that is before its effect in the order 
of time ; as the architect is distinct from the house which he builds, or the 
father distinct from the son which he begets. And if the act of the Will de- 
termining be distinct from the act determined, and before it in the order of 
nature, then we can go back from one to another, till we come to the first in 
the series, which has no act of the Will before it in the order of nature, de- 
termining it ; and consequently is an act not determined by the Will, and so not 
a free act, in this notion of freedom. And this being the act which determines 
all the rest, none of them are free acts. As when there is a chain of many 
links, the first of which only is taken hold of and drawn by hand ; all the rest 
may follow and be moved at the same instant, without any distance of time ; 
but yet the motion of one link is before that of another in the order of nature ; 
the last is moved by the next, and so till we come to the first ; which not 
being moved by any other, but by something distinct from the whole chain, 
this as much proves that no part is moved by any self-moving power in the 
chain, as if the motion of one link followed that of another in the order of time. 

2. If any should say, that the determining act is not before the determined 
act, either in order of time, or of nature, nor is distinct from it ; but that the 
exertion of the act is the determination of the act ; that for the soul to exert a 
particular volition, is for it to cause and determine that act of volition ; I would 
on this observe, that the thing in question seems to be forgotten or kept out of 
sight, in darkness and unintelligibleness of speech ; unless such an objector would 
mean to contradict himself. The very act of volition itself is doubtless a deter- 
mination of mind ; i. e. it is the mind's drawing up a conclusion, or coming to 
a choice between two things or more, proposed to it. But determining among 
external objects of choice, is not the same with determining the act of choice itself, 
among various possible acts of choice. The question is, what influences, directs, 
or determines the mind or Will to come to such a conclusion or choice as it does 1 
Or what is the cause, ground or reason, why it concludes thus, and not other- 


wise ? Now it must be answered, according to the Arminian notion of freedom, 
that the Will influences, orders and determines itself thus to act. And if it does, 
I say, it must be by some antecedent act. To say, it is caused, influenced and 
determined by something, and yet not determined by any thing antecedent, either 
in order of time or of nature, is a contradiction. For that is what is meant 
by a thing's being prior in the order of nature, that it is some way the cause or 
reason of the thing, with respect to which it is said to be prior. 

If the particular act or exertion of Will, which comes into existence, be any 
thing properly determined at all, then it has some cause of its existing, and of 
its existing in such a particular determinate manner, and not another ; some cause, 
whose influence decides the matter ; which cause is distinct from the effect, and 
prior to it. But to say, that the Will or mind orders, influences and determines 
itself to exert such an act as it does, by the very exertion itself, is to make the 
exertion both cause and effect ; or the exerting such an act, to be a cause of 
the exertion of such an act. For the question is, What is the cause and reason 
of the soul's exerting such an act ? To which the answer is, the soul exerts 
such an act, and that is the cause of it. And so, by this, the exertion must be 
prior in the order of nature to itself, and distinct from itself. 

3. If the meaning be, that the soul's exertion of such a particular act of Will, 
is a thing that comes to pass of itself, without any cause ; and that there is abso- 
lutely no ground or reason of the soul's being determined to exert such a volition, 
and make such a choice rather than another, I say, if this be the meaning of 
Arminians, when they contend so earnestly for the Will's determining its own 
acts, and for liberty of Will consisting in self-determining power ; they do nothing 
but confound themselves and others with words without meaning. In the ques- 
tion, What determines the Will ? and in their answer, that the Will determines 
itself, and in all the dispute about it, it seems to be taken for granted, that 
something determines the Will ; and the controversy on this head is not, whether 
any thing at all determines it, or whether its determination has any cause or 
foundation at all ; but where the foundation of it is, whether in the Will itself, 
or somewhere else. But if the thing intended be what is above-mentioned, then 
all comes to this, that nothing at all determines the Will ; volition having abso- 
lutely no cause or foundation of its existence, either within or without. There 
is a great noise made about self-determining power, as the source of all free acts 
of the Will ; but when the matter comes to be explained, the meaning is, that 
no power at all is the source of these acts, neither self-determining power, nor 
any other, but they arise from nothing ; no cause, no power, no influence being 
at all concerned in the matter. 

However, this very thing, even that the free acts of the Will are events which 
come to pass without a cause, is certainly implied in the Arminian notion of 
liberty of Will ; though it be very inconsistent with many other things in their 
scheme, and repugnant to some things implied in their notion of liberty. Their 
opinion implies, that the particular determination of volition is without any cause ; 
because they hold the free acts of the Will to be contingent events ; and con- 
tingence is essential to freedom in their notion of it. But certainly, those things 
which have a prior ground and reason of their particular existence, a cause which 
antecedently determines them to be, and determines them to be just as they are, 
do not happen contingently. If something foregoing, by a causal influence and 
connection, determines and fixes precisely their coming to pass, and the manner 
of it, then it does not remain a contingent thing whether they shall come to pass 
or no. 

And because it is a question, in many respects, very important in this con- 

Vol. II. 4 


troversy about the freedom of Will, whether the free acts of the Will are events 
which come to pass without a cause, I shall be particular in examining this point 
m the two following sections. 


Whether any Event whatsoever, and Volition in particular, can come to pass without 

a Cause of its existence. 

Before I enter on any argument on this subject, I would explain how I would 
be understood, when I use the word Cause in this discourse : since, for want of 
a better word, I shall have occasion to use it in a sense which is more extensive, 
than that in which it is sometimes used. The word is often used in so restrained 
a sense as to signify only that which has a positive efficiency or influence to 
produce a thing, or bring it to pass. But there are many things which have no 
such positive productive influence ; which yet are Causes in that respect, that 
they have truly the nature of a ground or reason why some things are, rather than 
others ; or why they are as they are, rather than otherwise. Thus the absence 
of the sun in the night, is not the Cause of the falling of the dew at that time, in 
the same manner as its beams are the Cause of the ascending of the vapors in the 
day time ; and its withdrawment in the winter, is not in the same manner tht 
Cause of the freezing of the waters, as its approach in the spring is the Cause oi 
their thawing. But yet the withdrawment or absence of the sun is an antece- 
dent, with which these effects in the night and winter are connected, and on 
which they depend ; and is one thing that belongs to the ground and reason why 
they come to pass at that time, rather than at other times ; though the absence 
of the sun is nothing positive, nor has any positive influence. 

It may be further observed, that when I speak of connection of Causes and 
Effects, I have respect to moral Causes, as well as those that are called natural 
in distinction from them. Moral Causes may be Causes in as proper a sense, as 
any causes whatsoever ; may have as real an influence, and may as truly be the 
ground and reason of an Event's coming to pass. 

Therefore I sometimes use the word Cause, in this inquiry, to signify any 
antecedent, either natural or moral, positive or negative, on which an Event, 
either a thing, or the manner and circumstance of a thing, so depends, that it 
is the ground and reason, either in whole, or in part, why it is, rather than not ; 
or why it is as it is, rather than otherwise ; or, in other words, any antecedent 
with which a consequent Event is so connected, that it truly belongs to the reason 
why the proposition which affirms that Event, is true ; whether it has any posi- 
tive influence or not. And in agreeableness to this, I sometimes use the 
word Effect for the consequence of another thing, which is perhaps rather an 
occasion than a Cause, most properly speaking. 

I am the more careful thus to explain my meaning, that I may cut off occa- 
sion, from any that might seek occasion to cavil and object against some things 
which I may say concerning the dependence of all things which come to pass, on 
some Cause, and their connection with their Cause. 

Having thus explained what I mean by Cause, I assert that nothing ever 
comes to pass without a Cause. What is self-existent must be from eternity, 
and must be unchangeable ; but as to all things that begin to be, they are not 
self-existent, and therefore must have some foundation -of their existence without 


themselves ; that whatsoever begins to be which before was not, must have a Cause 
why it then begins to exist, seems to be the first dictate of the common and natural 
sense which God hath implanted in the minds of all mankind, and the main foun- 
dation of all our reasonings about the existence of things, past, presenter to come. 

And this dictate of common sense equally respects substances and modes, or 
things and the manner and circumstances of things. Thus, if we see a body 
which has hitherto been at rest, start out of a state of rest, and begin to move, 
we do as naturally and necessarily suppose there is some Cause or reason of this 
new mode of existence, as of the existence of a body itself which had hitherto 
not existed. And so if a body, which had hitherto moved in a certain direction, 
should suddenly change the direction of its motion ; or if it should put off its old 
figure, and take a new one ; or change its color : the beginning of these new 
modes is a new Event, and the mind of mankind necessarily supposes that there 
is some Cause or reason of them. 

If this grand principle of common sense be taken away, all arguing from 
effects to Causes ceaseth, and so all knowledge of any existence, besides what we 
have by the most direct and immediate intuition. Particularly all our proof of 
the being of God ceases : we argue His being from our own being and the being 
of other things, which we are sensible once were not, but have begun to be ; and 
from the being of the world, with all its constituent parts, and the manner of their 
existence ; all which we see plainly are not necessary in their own nature, 
and so not self-existent, and therefore must have a Cause. But if things, not 
in themselves necessary, may begin to be without a Cause, all this arguing is vain. 

Indeed, I will not affirm, that there is in the nature of things no foundation 
for the knowledge of the Being of God without any evidence of it from His works. 
I do suppose there is a great absurdity in the nature of things simply considered, 
in supposing that there should be no God, or in denying Being in general, and 
supposing an eternal, absolute, universal nothing ; and therefore that here would 
be foundation of intuitive evidence that it cannot be ; and that eternal, infinite, 
most perfect Being must be ; if we had strength and comprehension of mind 
'sufficient, to have a clear idea of general and universal Being, or, which is the 
same thing, of the infinite, eternal, most perfect Divine Nature and Essence. 
But then we should not properly come to the knowledge of the Being of God 
by arguing ; but our evidence would be intuitive : we should see it, as we see 
other things that are necessary in themselves, the contraries of which are in their 
own nature absurd and contradictory ; as we see that twice two is four ; and as 
we see that a circle has no angles. If we had as clear an idea of universal in- 
finite entity, as we have of these other things, I suppose we should most intuitively 
see the absurdity of supposing such Being not to be ; should immediately see 
there is no room for the question, whether it is possible that Being, in the most 
general abstracted notion of it, should not be. But we have not that strength 
and extent of mind, to know this certainly in this intuitive independent manner; 
but the way that mankind come to the knowledge of the Being of God, is that 
which the apostle speaks of, Rom. i. 20. " The invisible things of Him, from 
the creation of the world, are clearly seen ; being understood by the tilings that 
are made ; even his eternal power and Godhead." We first ascend, and prove 
a 'posteriori, or from effects, that there must be an eternal Cause ; and then 
secondly, prove by argumentation, not intuition, that this Being must be neces- 
sarily existent ; and then thirdly, from the proved necessity of his existence, we 
may descend, and prove many of his perfections a -priori* 

* To the inquirer after truth it may here be recommended, as a matter of some consequence, to keep 
in mind the precise difference between an argument a priori and one a posteriori, a distinction of consid- 


But if once this grand principle of common sense be given up, that what is 
not necessary in itself, must have a Cause ; and we begin to maintain, that things 
may come into existence, and begin to be, which heretofore have not been, of 
themselves without any Cause ; all our means of ascending in our arguing from 
the creature to the Creator, and all our evidence of the Being of God, is cut off 
at one blow. In this case, we cannot prove that there is a God, either from the 
Being of the world, and the creatures in it, or from the manner of their being, 
their order, beauty and use. For if things may come into existence without any 
Cause at all, then they doubtless may without any Cause answerable to the effect. 
Our minds do alike naturally suppose and determine both these things ; namely, 
that what begins to be has a Cause, and also that it has a Cause proportionable 
and agreeable to the effect. The same principle which leads us to determine, 
that there cannot be any thing coming to pass without a Cause, leads us to de- 
termine that there cannot be more in the effect than in the Cause. 

Yea, if once it should be allowed, that things may come to pass without a 
Cause, we should not only have no proof of the Being of God, but we should be 
without evidence of the existence of any thing whatsoever, but our own imme- 
diately present ideas and consciousness* For we have no way to prove any 
thing else, but by arguing from effects to causes : from the ideas now immediately 
in view, we argue other things not immediately in view : from sensations now 
excited in us, we infer the existence of things without us, as the Causes of these 
sensations ; and from the existence of these things, we argue other things, which 
they depend on, as effects on Causes. We infer the past existence of ourselves, 
or any thing else, by memory ; only as we argue, that the ideas, which are 
now in our minds, are the consequences of past ideas and sensations. — We 
immediately perceive nothing else but the ideas which are this moment extant in 
our minds. We perceive or know other things only by means of these, as neces- 
sarily connected with others, and dependent on them. But if things may be 
without Causes, all this necessary connection and dependence is dissolved, and so 
all means of our knowledge is gone. If there be no absurdity nor difficulty in 
supposing one thing to start out of non-existence into being, of itself without a 
Cause ; then there is no absurdity nor difficulty in supposing the same of mil- 
lions of millions. For nothing, or no difficulty multiplied, still is nothing, or no 
difficulty, nothing multiplied by nothing, does not increase the sum. 

And indeed, according to the hypothesis I am opposing, of the acts of the 
Will coming to pass without a Cause, it is the case in fact, that millions of 
millions of Events are continually coming into existence contingently, without 
any cause or reason why they do so, all over the world, every day and hour, 
through all ages. So it is in a constant succession, in every moral agent. This 
contingency, this efficient nothing, this effectual No Cause, is always ready at 
hand, to produce this sort of effects, as long as the agent exists, and as often as 
he has occasion. 

erable use, as well as of long standing, among divines, metaphysicians, and logical writers. An argument 
from either of these, when legitimately applied, may amount to a demonstration, when used, for instance, 
relatively to the being and perfections of God ; but the one should be confined to the existence of Deity, 
while the other is applicable to his perfections. By the argument a posteriori we rise from the effect to the 
cause, from the stream to the fountain, from what is posterior to what is prior ; in other words, from what 
is contingent to what is absolute, from number to unity ; that is, from the manifestation of God to his ex- 
istence. By the argument a priori we descend from the cause to the effect, from the fountain to the stream, 
from what is prior to what is posterior ; that is, from the necessary existence of God we safely infer 
certain properties and perfections. To attempt a demonstration of the existence of a first cause, or the 
Being of God, a priori, would be most absurd ; for it would be an attempt to prove a prior ground or cause 
of existence of a first cause ; or, that there is some cause before the very first. The argument a priori, 
therefore, is not applicable to prove the divine existence. For this end, the argument a posteriori alone is 
legitimate ; and its conclusiveness rests on the axiom, that " there can be no effect without a cause." The 
absurdity of denying this axiom is abundantly demonstrated by our author. W. 


If it were so, that things only of one kind, viz., acts of the Will, seemed to come 
to pass of themselves ; but those of this sort in general came into being thus ; and 
it were an event that was continual, and that happened in a course, wherever 
were capable subjects of such events ; this very thing would demonstrate that 
there was some Cause of them, which made such a difference between this Event 
and others, and that they did not really happen contingently. For contingence 
is blind, and does not pick and choose for a particular sort of events. Nothing 
has no choice. This No Cause, which causes no existence, cannot cause the 
existence which comes to pass, to be of one particular sort only, distinguished 
from all others. Thus, that only one sort of matter drops out of the heavens, 
even water, and that this comes so often, so constantly and plentifully, all over 
the world, in all ages, shows that there is some Cause or reason of the falling of 
water out of the heavens ; and that something besides mere contingence has a 
hand in the matter. 

If we should suppose nonentity to be about to bring forth ; and things were 
coming into existence, without any Cause or antecedent, on which the existence, 
or kind, or manner of existence depends ; or which could at all determine whe- 
ther the things should be stones, or stars, or beasts, or angels, or human bodies, 
or souls, or only some new motion or figure in natural bodies, or some new 
sensations in animals, or new ideas in the human understanding, or new volitions 
in the Will ; or any thing else of all the infinite number of possibles ; then 
certainly it would not be expected, although many million of millions of things 
are coming into existence in this manner, all over the face of the earth, that 
they should all be only of one particular kind, and that it should be thus in all 
ages, and that this sort of existences should never fail to come to pass where 
there is room for them, or a subject capable of them, and that constantly, when- 
ever there is occasion for them. 

If any should imagine, there is something in the sort of Event that renders 
it possible for it to come into existence without a Cause, and should say, that 
the free acts of the Will are existences of an exceeding different nature from 
other things ; by reason of which they may come into existence without any 
previous ground or reason of it, though other things cannot ; if they make this 
objection in good earnest, it would be an evidence of their strangely forgetting 
themselves ; for they would be giving an account of some ground of the exist- 
ence of a thing, when at the same time they would maintain there is no ground 
of its existence. Therefore I would observe, that the particular nature of exist- 
ence, be it ever so diverse from others, can lay no foundation for that thing's 
coming into existence without a Cause ; because to suppose this, would be to 
suppose the particular nature of existence to be a thing prior to the existence ; 
and so a thing which makes way for existence, with such a circumstance, 
namely, without a cause or reason of existence. But that which in any respect 
makes way for a thing's coming into being, or for any manner or circumstance 
of its first existence, must be prior to the existence. The distinguished nature of 
the effect, which is something belonging to the effect, cannot have influence 
backward, to act before it is. The peculiar nature of that thing called volition, 
can do nothing, can have no influence, while it is not. And afterwards it is too 
late for its influence ; for then the thing has made sure of existence already, 
without its help. 

So that it is indeed as repugnant to reason, to suppose that an act of the 
Will should come into existence without a Cause, as to suppose the human soul, 
or an angel, or the globe of the earth, or the whole universe, should come into 
existence without a Cause. And if once we allow, that such a sort of effect as 


a Volition may come to pass without a Cause, how do we know but that many 
other sorts of effects may do so too ? It is not the particular kind of effect that 
makes the absurdity of supposing it has been without a Cause, but something 
which is common to all things that ever begin to be, viz., that they are not self- 
existent, or necessary in the nature of things. 


Whether Volition can arise without a Cause through the Activity of the Nature of 

the Soul. 

The author of the Essay on the Freedom of the Will in God and the. 
Creatures, in answer to that objection against his doctrine of a self-determining 
power in the Will, (p. 68, 69, ) " That nothing is, or comes to pass, without a 
sufficient reason why it is, and why it is in this manner rather than another," 
allows that it is thus in corporeal things, which are, properly and philosophically 
speaking, passive beings ; but denies that it is thus in spirits, which are beings 
of an active nature, who have the spring of action within themselves, and can 
determine themselves. By which it is plainly supposed, that such an event as 
an act of the Will, may come to pass in a spirit, without a sufficient reason why 
it comes to pass, or why it is after this manner, rather than another; by reason 
of the activity of the nature of a spirit. — But certainly this author, in this 
matter, must be very unwary and inadvertent. For, 

1. The objection or difficulty proposed by this author, seems to be forgotten 
in his answer or solution. The very difficulty, as he himself proposes it, is this : 
How an event can come to pass without a sufficient reason why it is, or why it 
is in this manner rather than another 1 Instead of solving this difficulty, or 
answering this question with regard to Volition, as he proposes, he forgets him- 
self, and answers another question quite diverse, and wholly inconsistent with 
this, viz., What is a sufficient reason why it is, and why it is in this manner 
rather than another 1 And he assigns the active being's own determination as 
the Cause, and a Cause sufficient for the effect ; and leaves all the difficulty 
unresolved, and the question unanswered, which yet returns, even, how the 
soul's own determination, which he speaks of, came to exist, and to be what it 
was without a Cause ? The activity of the soul may enable it to be the Cause 
of effects, but it does not at all enable or help it to be the subject of effects which 
have no Cause, which is the thing this author supposes concerning acts of the 
Will. Activity of nature will no more enable a being to produce effects, and 
determine the manner of their existence, within itself, without a Cause, than out 
of itself, in some other being. But if an active being should, through its activity, 
produce and determine an effect in some external object, how absurd would it be 
to say, that the effect was produced without a Cause ! 

2. The question is not so much, how a spirit endowed with activity comes 
to act, as why it exerts such an act, and not another ; or why it acts with such 
a particular determination : if activity of nature be the Cause why a spirit (the 
soul of man for instance) acts, and does not lie still ; yet that alone is not the 
Cause why its action is thus and thus limited, directed and determined. Active 
nature is a general thing ; it is an ability or tendency of nature to action, gen- 
erally taken ; which may be a Cause why the soul acts as occasion or reason is 
given; but this alone cannot be a sufficient Cause why the soul exerts such ; 


particular act, at such a time, rather than others. In order to this, there must 
be something besides a general tendency to action ; there must also be a 
particular tendency to that individual action. If it should be asked, why the 
soul of man uses its activity in such a manner as it does, and it should be 
answered, that the soul uses its activity thus, rather than otherwise, because it 
has activity, would such an answer satisfy a rational man 1 Would it not rather 
be looked upon as a very impertinent one ? 

3. An active being can bring no effects to pass by his activity, but what are 
consequent upon his acting. He produces nothing by his activity, any other 
way than by the exercise of his activity, and so nothing but the fruits of its 
exercise j he brings nothing to pass by a dormant activity. But the exercise 
of his activity is action ; and so his action, or exercise of his activity, must be 
prior to the effects of his activity. If an active being produces an effect in 
another being, about which his activity is conversant, the effect being the fruit 
of his activity, his activity must be first exercised or exerted, and the effect of it 
must follow. So it must be, with equal reason, if the active being is his own 
object, and his activity is conversant about himself, to produce and determine 
some effect in himself; still the exercise of his activity must go before the 
effect, which he brings to pass and determines by it. And therefore his activity 
cannot be the Cause of the determination of the first action, or exercise of 
activity itself, whence the effects of activity arise, for that would imply a con- 
tradiction ; it would be to say, the first exercise of activity is before the first 
exercise of activity, and is the Cause of it. 

4. That the soul, though an active substance, cannot diversify its own acts, 
but by first acting ; or be a determining Cause of different acts, or any different 
effects, sometimes of one kind, and sometimes of another, any other way than in 
consequence of its own diverse acts, is manifest by this ; that if so, then the 
same Cause, the same causal power, force or influence, without variation in any 
respect, would produce different effects at different times. For the same sub- 
stance of the soul before it acts, and the same active nature of the soul before 
it is exerted, i. e. before in the order of nature, would be the Cause of different 
effects, viz., different Volitions at different times. But the substance of the soul 
before it acts, and its active nature before it is exerted, are the same without 
variation. For it is some act that makes the first variation in the Cause, as to 
any causal exertion, force, or influence. But if it be so, that the soul has no 
different causality, or diverse causal force or influence, in producing these diverse 
effects ; then it is evident, that the soul has no influence, no hand in the diversity 
of the effect ; and that the difference of the effect cannot be owing to any thing 
in the soul; or, which is the same thing, the soul does not determine the 
diversity of the effect ; which is contrary to to the supposition. It is true, the 
substance of the soul before it acts, and before there is any difference in that 
respect, may be in a different state and circumstance ; but those whom I oppose, 
will not allow the different circumstances of the soul to be the determining 
Causes of the acts of the Will, as being contrary to their notion of self-determin- 
ation and self-motion. 

5. Let us suppose, as these divines do, that there are no acts of the soul, 
strictly speaking, but free Volitions; then it will follow, that the soul is an active 
being in nothing further than it is a voluntary or elective being ; and whenever 
it produces effects actively, it produces effects voluntarily and clectively. But 
to produce effects thus, is the same thing as to produce effects in consequence of, 
and according to its own choice. And if so, then surely the soul does not by 
its activity produce all its own acts of Will or choice themselves ; for this, 


by the supposition, is to produce all its free acts of choice voluntarily and elec- 
lively, or in consequence of its own free acts of choice, which brings the matter 
directly to the forementioned contradiction, of a free act of choice before the 
first free act of choice. According to these gentlemen's own notion of action, 
if there arises in the mind a Volition without a free act of the Will or choice to 
determine and produce it, the mind is not the active, voluntary Cause of that 
Volition, because it does not arise from, nor is regulated by choice or design. 
And therefore it cannot be, that the mind should be the active, voluntary, de- 
termining Cause of the first and leading Volition that relates to the affair. The 
mind's being a designing Cause, only enables it to produce effects in consequence 
of its design ; it will not enable it to be the designing Cause of all its own 
designs. The mind's being an elective Cause, will only enable it to produce 
effects in consequence of its elections, and according to them; but cannot 
enable it to be the elective Cause of all its own elections ; because that supposes 
an election before the first election. So the mind's being an active Cause 
enables it to produce effects in consequence of its own acts, but cannot enable 
it to be the determining Cause of all its own acts ; for that is still in the same 
manner a contradiction ; as it supposes a determining act conversant about the 
first act, and prior to it, having a causal influence on its existence, and manner 
of existence. 

I can conceive of nothing else that can be meant by the soul's having power 
to cause and determine its own Volitions, as a being to whom God has given 
a power of action, but this ; that God has given power to the soul, sometimes 
at least, to excite Volitions at its pleasure, or according as it chooses. And 
this certainly supposes, in all such cases, a choice preceding all Volitions which 
are thus caused, even the first of them; which runs into the forementioned 
great absurdity. 

Therefore the activity of the nature of the soul affords no relief from the 
difficulties which the notion of a self-determining power in the Will is attended 
with, nor will it help, in the least, its absurdities and inconsistencies. 


Showing, that if the things asserted in these Evasions should be supposed to be true, 
they are altogether impertinent, and cannot help the cause of Arminian liberty ; 
and how (this being the state of the case) Arminian writers are obliged to talk 

What was last observed in the preceding section may show, not only that 
the active nature of the soul cannot be a reason why an act of the Will is, or 
why it is in this manner, rather than another ; but also that if it could be so, 
and it could be proved that Volitions are contingent events, in that sense, that 
their being and manner of being is not fixed or determined by any cause, or 
any thing antecedent; it would not at all serve the purpose of the Arminians, 
to establish the freedom of the Will, according to their notion of its freedom as 
consisting in the Will's determination of itself ; which supposes every free act 
of the Will to be determined by some act of the Will going before to determine 
it; inasmuch as for the Will to determine a thing, is the same as for the soul 
to determine a thing by Willing ; and there is no way that the Will can de- 
termine an act of the Will, but by willing that act of the Will ; or, which is 


the same thing, choosing it. So that here must be two acts of the Will in the 
case, one going before another, one conversant about the other, and the latter 
the object of the former, and chosen by the former. If the Will does not cause 
and determine the act by choice, it does not cause or determine it at all ; for 
that which is not determined by choice, is not determined voluntarily or willingly : 
and to say, that the Will determines something which the soul does not determine 
willingly, is as much as to say, that something is done by the Will, which the 
soul doth not with its Will. 

So that if Arminian liberty of Will, consisting in the Will's determining 
its own acts, be maintained, the old absurdity and contradiction must be main- 
tained, that every free act of the Will is caused and determined by a foregoing 
free act of Will ; which doth not consist with the free acts arising without 
any cause, and being so contingent, as not to be fixed by any thing foregoing. 
So that this evasion must be given up, as not at all relieving, and as that which, 
instead of supporting this sort of liberty, directly destroys it. 

And if it should be supposed, that the soul determines its own acts of Will 
some other way, than by a foregoing act of Will; still it will not help the 
cause of their liberty of Will. If it determines them by an act of the under- 
standing, or some other power, then the Will does not determine itself; and so 
the self-determining power of the Will is given up. And what liberty is there 
exercised according to their own opinion of liberty, by the soul's being deter- 
mined by something besides its own choice ? The acts of the Will, it is true, 
may be directed, and effectually determined and fixed ; but it is not done by the 
soul's own will and pleasure : there is no exercise at all of choice or Will in 
producing the effect : and if Will and choice are not exercised in it, how is the 
liberty of the Will exercised in it ? 

So that let Arminians turn which way they please with their notion of 
liberty, consisting in the Will's determining its own acts, their notion destroys 
itself. If they hold every free act of Will to be determined by the soul's own 
free choice, or foregoing free act of Will ; foregoing, either in the order of 
time, or nature ; it implies that gross contradiction, that the first free act be- 
longing to the affair, is determined by a free act which is before it. Or if they 
say, that the free acts of the Will are determined by some other act of the soul, 
and not an act of Will or choice ; this also destroys their notion of liberty, 
consisting in the acts of the Will being determined by the Will itself ; or if 
they hold that the acts of the Will are determined by nothing at all that is prior 
to them, but that they are contingent in that sense, that they are determined 
and fixed by no cause at all ; this also destroys their notion of liberty, consist- 
ing in the Will's determining its own acts. 

This being the true state of the Arminian notion of liberty, it hence comes 
to pass, that the writers that defend it are forced into gross inconsistencies, in 
what they say upon this subject To instance in Dr. Whitby ; he, in his dis- 
course on the freedom of the Will,* opposes the opinion of the Calvinists, who 
place man's liberty only in a power of doing what he will, as that wherein they 
plainly agree with Mr. Hobbes. And yet he himself mentions the very same 
notion of liberty, as the dictate of the sense and common reason of mankind, and 
a rule laid down by the light of nature, viz., that liberty is a power of acting 
from ourselves, or doing what we wiLL.f This is indeed, as he says, a thing 
agreeable to the sense and common reason of mankind ; and therefore it is not 
so much to be wondered at, that he unawares acknowledges it against himself : 

* In his Book on the five Points, Second Edit. p. 350, 351, 352. t Ibid. p. 325, 326. 

Vol. n. 5 


for if liberty does not consist in this, what else can be devised that it should con- 
sist in 1 If it be said, as Dr. Whitby elsewhere insists, that it does not only 
consist in liberty of doing what we will, but also a liberty of willing without 
necessity ; still the question returns, what does that liberty of willing without 
necessity consist in, but in a power of willing as we please, without being im- 
peded by a contrary necessity ? Or in other words, a liberty for the soul in 
its willing to act according to its own choice 1 Yea, this very thing the same 
author seems to allow, and suppose again and again, in the use he makes of 
sayings of the Fathers, whom he quotes as his vouchers. Thus he cites the words 
of Origen, which he produces as a testimony on his side : * The soul acts by her 
own choice, and it is free for her to incline to whatever 'part she will. And those 
words of Justin Martyr : f The doctrine of the Christians is this, that nothing 
is done or suffered according to fate, but that every man doth good or evil according 
to his own free choice. And from Eusebius these words : % If fate be establish- 
ed, philosophy and piety are overthrown. All these things depending upon the 
necessity introduced by the stars, and not upon meditation and exercise proceed- 
ing from our own free choice. And again, the words of Maccarius : § God, 
to preserve the liberty of marts Will, suffered their bodies to die, that it might 
be in their choice to turn to good or evil. They who are acted by the Holy 
Spirit, are not held under any necessity, but have liberty to turn themselves, and 
do what they will in this life. 

Thus, the doctor in effect comes into that very notion of liberty, which the 
Calvinists have ; which he at the same time condemns, as agreeing with the 
opinion of Mr. Hobbes, namely, the soul's acting by its own choice, men's doing 
good or evil according to their own free choice, their being in that exercise which 
proceeds from their own free choice, having it in their choice to turn to good or 
evil, and doing what they will. So that if men exercise this liberty in the acts 
of the Will themselves, it must be in exerting acts of Will as they will, or ac- 
cording to their own free choice ; or exerting acts of Will that proceed from 
their choice. And if it be so, then let every one judge whether this does not 
suppose a free choice going before the free act of Will, or whether an act 
of choice does not go before that act of the Will which proceeds from it. — And if 
it be thus with all free acts of the Will, then let every one judge, whether it will 
not follow that there is a free choice or Will going before the first free act of 
the Will exerted in the case. And then let every one judge, whether this be 
not a contradiction. And finally, let every one judge whether in the scheme of 
these writers there be any possibility of avoiding these absurdities. 

If liberty consists, as Dr. Whitby himself says, in a man's doing what he 
will ; and a man exercises this liberty, not only in external actions, but in the 
acts of the Will themselves ; then so far as liberty is exercised in the latter, it 
consists in willing what he wills : and if any say so, one of these two things must 
be meant, either, 1. That a man has power to Will, as he does Will ; because 
what he Wills, he Wills ; and therefore has power to Will what he has power 
to Will. If this be their meaning, then this mighty controversy about freedom 
of the Will and self- determining power, comes wholly to nothing ; all that is 
contended for being no more than this, that the mind of man does what it does, 
and is the subject of what it is the subject of, or that what is, is ; wherein none 
has any controversy with them. Or, 2. The meaning must be, that a man has 
power to Will as he pleases or chooses to Will ; that is, he has power by one 
act of choice, to choose another ; by an antecedent act of Will to choose a con- 

• In his Book on the five Points, Second Edit. p. 342. t Ibid. p. 360. % Ibid. p. 36a $ Ibid. p. 369, 370 


sequent act ; and therein to execute his own choice. And if this be their 
meaning, it is nothing but shuffling with those they dispute with, and baffling 
their own reason. For still the question returns, wherein lies man's liberty in 
that antecedent act of Will which chose the consequent act 1 The answer, 
according to the same principles, must be, that his liberty in this also lies in his 
willing as he would, or as he chose, or agreeably to another act of choice pre- 
ceding that. And so the question returns in infinitum and the like answer must 
be made in infinitum. In order to support their opinion, there must be no 
beginning, but free acts of Will must have been chosen by foregoing free acts 
of Will in the soul of every man, without beginning ; and so before he had a 
being, from all eternity. 


Concerning the Will's determining in Things which are perfectly indifferent in the 

View of the Mind. 

A great argument for self-determining power, is the supposed experience 
we universally have of an ability to determine our Wills, in cases wherein no 
prevailing motive is presented : the Will (as is supposed) has its choice to make 
between two or more things, that are perfectly equal in the view of the mind ; 
and the Will is apparently altogether indifferent ; and yet we find no difficulty 
in coming to a choice ; the Will can instantly determine itself to one, by a sove- 
reign power which it has over itself, without being moved by any preponderating 

Thus the forementioned author of an Essay on the Freedom of the Will, &c, 
p. 25, 26, 27, supposes, " That there are many instances, wherein the Will is 
determined neither by present uneasiness, nor by the greatest apparent good, 
nor by the last dictate of the understanding, nor by any thing else, but merely by 
itself as a sovereign, self-determining power of the soul ; and that the soul does 
not will this or that action, in some cases, by any other influence but because it 
will. Thus (says he) I can turn my face to the South, or the North ; I can 
point with my finger upward, or downward. And thus, in some cases, the Will 
determines itself in a very sovereign manner, because it will, without a reason 
borrowed from the understanding ; and hereby it discovers its own perfect power 
of choice, rising from within itself, and free from all influence or restraint of any 
kind." And in pages 66, 70, and 73, 74, this author very expressly supposes 
the Will in many cases to be determined by no motive at all, but to act altogether 
without motive, or ground of preference. — Here I would observe, 

1. The very supposition which is here made, directly contradicts and over- 
throws itself. For the thing supposed, wherein this grand argument consists, 
is, that among several things the Will actually chooses one before another, at 
the same time that it is perfectly indifferent ; which is the very same thing as to 
say, the mind has a preference, at the same time that it has no preference. What 
is meant cannot be, that the mind is indifferent before it comes to have a choice, 
or until it has a preference : or, which is the same thing, that the mind is indiffer- 
ent until it comes to be not indifferent : for certainly this author did not think 
he had a controversy with any person in supposing this. And then it is nothing 
to his purpose, that the mind which chooses, was indifferent once ; unless it 
chooses, remaining indifferent ; for otherwise, it does not choose at all in that 


case of indifference, concerning which is all the question. Besides, it appears 
in fact, that the thing which this author supposes, is not that the Will chooses 
one thing before another, concerning which it is indifferent before it chooses ; but 
also is indifferent when it chooses ; and that its being otherwise than indifferent is 
not until afterwards, in consequence of its choice ; that the chosen thing's ap- 
pearing preferable and more agreeable than another, arises from its choice already 
made. His words are, (p. 30,) " Where the objects which are proposed, appear 
equally fit or good, the Will is left without a guide or director ; and therefore 
must take its own choice by its own determination ; it being properly a self- 
determining power. And in such cases the Will does as it were make a good 
to itself by its own choice, i. e. creates its own pleasure or delight in this self- 
chosen good. Even as a man by seizing upon a spot of unoccupied land, in an 
uninhabited country, makes it his own possession and property, and as such 
rejoices in it. Where things were indifferent before, the Will finds nothing to 
make them more agreeable,, considered merely in themselves ; but the pleasure 
it feels arising from its own choice, and its perseverance therein. We love 
many things we have chosen, and purely because we chose them." 

This is as much as to say, that we first begin to prefer many things, now 
ceasing any longer to be indifferent with respect to them, purely because we 
have preferred and chosen them before. These things must needs be spoken 
inconsiderately by this author. Choice or preference cannot be before itself in 
the same instance, either in the order of time or nature : it cannot be the founda- 
tion of itself, or the fruit or consequence of itself. The very act of choosing one 
thing rather than another, is preferring that thing, and that is setting a higher 
value on that thing. But that the mind sets a higher value on one thing than 
another, is not, in the first place, the fruit of its setting a higher value on that 

This author says, p. 36, " The Will may be perfectly indifferent, and yet the 
Will may determine itself to choose one or the other." And again, in the same 
page, " I am entirely indifferent to either ; and yet my Will may determine 
itself to choose." And again, " Which I shall choose must be determined by 
the mere act of my Will." If the choice is determined by a mere act of Will, 
then the choice is determined by a mere act of choice. And concerning this 
matter, viz., that the act of the Will itself is determined by an act of choice, 
this writer is express, in page 72. Speaking of the case, where there is no 
superior fitness in objects presented, he has these words : " There it must act by 
its own choice, and determine itself as it pleases." Where it is supposed that 
the very determination, which is the ground and spring of the Will's act, is an 
act of choice and pleasure, wherein one act is more agreeable and the mind 
better pleased in it than another ; and this preference and superior pleasedness 
is the ground of all it does in the case. And if so, the mind is not indifferent 
when it determines itself, but had rather do one thing than another, had rather 
determine itself one way than another. And therefore the Will does not act at all 
in indifference ; not so much as in the first step it takes, or the first rise and 
beginning of its acting. If it be possible for the understanding to act in indif- 
ference, yet to be sure the Will never does ; because the Will's beginning to act 
is the very same thing as its beginning to choose or prefer. And if in the very 
first act of the W T ill, the mind prefers something, then the idea of that thing 
preferred, does at that time preponderate, or prevail in the mind ; or, which is 
the same thing, the idea of it has a prevailing influence on the Will. So that 
this wholly destroys the thing supposed, viz., that the mind can, by a sove- 
reign power, choose one of two or more things, which in the view of the mind 


are, in every respect, perfectly equal, one of which does not at all preponderate, 
nor has any prevailing influence on the mind above another. 

So that this author, in his grand argument for the ability of the Will to 
choose one of two or more things, concerning which it is perfectly indifferent, 
does at the same time, in effect, deny the thing he supposes, and allows and 
asserts the point he endeavors to overthrow ; even that the Will, in choosing, 
is subject to no prevailing influence of the idea, or view of the thing chosen. 
And indeed it is impossible to offer this argument without overthrowing it ; the 
thing supposed in it being inconsistent with itself, and that which denies itself. 
To suppose the Will to act at all in a state of perfect indifference, either to 
determine itself, or to do any thing else, is to assert that the mind chooses without 
choosing. To say that when it is- indifferent, it can do as it pleases, is to say 
that it can follow its pleasure when it has no pleasure to follow. And therefore 
if there be any difficulty in the instances of two cakes, two eggs, &c, which are 
exactly alike, one as good as another ; concerning which this author supposes 
the mind in fact has a choice, and so in effect supposes that it has a preference ; 
it as much concerned himself to solve the difficulty, as it does those whom he 
opposes. For if these instances prove any thing to his purpose, they prove that 
a man chooses without choice. And yet this is not to his purpose ; because 
if this is what he asserts, his own words are as much against him, and do as 
much contradict him, as the words of those he disputes against can do. 

2. There is no great difficulty in showing, in such instances as are alleged, 
not only that it must needs be so, that the mind must be influenced in its choice, 
by something that has a preponderating influence upon it, but also how it is so. 
A little attention to our own experience, and a distinct consideration of the acts 
of our own minds, in such cases, will be sufficient to clear up the matter. 

Thus, supposing I have a chess-board before me ; and because I am required 
by a superior, or desired by a friend, or to make some experiment concerning 
my own ability and liberty, or on some other consideration, I am determined to 
touch some one of the spots or squares on the board with my finger ; not being 
limited or directed in the first proposal, or my own first purpose, which is general, 
to any one in particular ; and there being nothing in the squares, in themselves 
considered, that recommends any one of all the sixty-four, more than another : 
in this case, my mind determines to give itself up to what is vulgarly called 
accident,* by determining to touch that square which happens to be most in view, 
which my eye is especially upon at that moment, or which happens to be then 
most in my mind, or which I shall be directed to by some other such like accident. 
— Here are several steps of the mind's proceeding (though all may be done as 
it were in a moment) ; the first step is its general determination that it will touch 
one of the squares. The next step is another general determination to give itself 
up to accident, in some certain way ; as to touch that which shall be most in 
the eye or mind at that time, or to some other such like accident. The third 
and last step is a particular determination to touch a certain individual spot, 
even that square, which, by that sort of accident the mind has pitched upon, has 
actually offered itself beyond others. Now it is apparent that in none of these 
several steps does the mind proceed in absolute indifference, but in each of them 
is influenced by a preponderating inducement. So it is in the first step ; the 
mind's general determination to touch one of the sixty-four spots : the mind is 

* I have elsewhere observed what that is which is vulgarly called accident ; that it is nothing akin to 
the Arminian metaphysical notion of contingence, something not connected with any thing foregoing ; but 
that it is something that comes to pass in the course of things, in some affair that men are concerned in< 
Unforeseen, and not owing to their design. 


not absolutely indifferent whether it does so or no ; it is induced to it, for the sake 
of making some experiment, or by the desire of a friend, or some other motive 
that prevails. So it is in the second step, the mind's determining to give itself 
up to accident, by touching that which shall be most in the eye, or the idea of 
which shall be most prevalent in the mind, &c. The mind is not absolutely 
indifferent whether it proceeds by this rule or no ; but chooses it because it ap- 
pears at that time a convenient and requisite expedient in order to fulfil the 
general purpose aforesaid. And so it is in the third and last step, it is determin- 
ing to touch that individual spot which actually does prevail in the mind's view. 
The mind is not indifferent concerning this ; but is influenced by a prevailing 
inducement and reason ; which is, that this is a prosecution of the preceding 
determination, which appeared requisite, and was fixed before in the second step. 

Accident will ever serve a man, without hindering him a moment, in such a 
case. It will always be so among a number of objects in view, one will prevail 
in the eye, or in idea beyond others. When we have our eyes open in the clear 
sunshine, many objects strike the eye at once, and innumerable images may be 
at once painted in it by the rays of light ; but the attention of the mind is not 
equal to several of them at once ; or if it be, it does not continue so for any time. 
And so it is with respect to the ideas of the mind in general : several ideas are 
not in equal strength in the mind's view and notice at once ; or at least, do 
not remain so for any sensible continuance. There is nothing in the world more 
constantly varying, than the ideas of the mind : they do not remain precisely 
in the same state for the least perceivable space of time ; as is evident by this, 
that all perceivable time is judged and perceived by the mind only by the suc- 
cession or the successive changes of its own ideas : therefore while the views or 
perceptions of the mind remain precisely in the same state, there is no perceivable 
space or length of time, because no sensible succession. 

As the acts of the Will, in each step of the forementioned procedure, do not 
come to pass without a particular cause, every act is owing to a prevailing in- 
ducement ; so the accident, as I have called it, or that which happens in the 
unsearchable course of things, to which the mind yields itself, and by which it is 
guided, is not any thing that comes to pass without a cause ; and the mind, in 
determining to be guided by it, is not determined by something that has no cause ; 
any more than if it determined to be guided by a lot, or the casting of a die. 
For though the die's falling in such a manner be accidental to him that casts it, 
yet none will suppose that there is no cause why it falls as it does. The invol- 
untary changes in the succession of our ideas, though the causes may not be 
observed, have as much a cause, as the changeable motions of the motes that 
float in the air, or the continual, infinitely various, successive changes of the 
unevennesses on the surface of the water. 

There are two things especially, which are probably the occasions of confu- 
sion in the minds of those who insist upon it, that the Will acts in a proper 
indifference, and without being moved by any inducement, in its determination 
in such cases as have been mentioned. 

1. They seem to mistake the point in question, or at least not to keep it 
distinctly in view. The question they dispute about, is, Whether the mind be 
indifferent about the objects presented, one of which is to be taken, touched, 
pointed to, &c, as two eggs, two cakes, which appear equally good. Whereas 
the question to be considered, is, Whether the person be indifferent with respect 
to his own actions ; whether he does not, on some consideration or other, prefer 
one act with respect to these objects before another. The mind in its determi- 
nation and choice, in these cases, is not most immediately and directly conversant 


about the objects presented ; but the acts to be done concerning these objects. 
The objects may appear equal, and the mind may never properly make any 
choice between them : but the next act of the Will being about the external 
actions to be performed, taking, touching, &c, these may not appear equal, and 
one action may properly be chosen before another. In each step of the mind's 
progress, the determination is not about the objects, unless indirectly and improp- 
erly, but about the actions, which it chooses for other reasons than any preference 
of the objects, and for reasons not taken at all from the objects. 

There is no necessity of supposing, that the mind does ever properly choose 
one of the objects before another ; either before it has taken, or afterwards. 
Indeed the man chooses to take or touch one rather than another ; but not 
because it chooses the thing taken,- or touched ; but from foreign considerations. 
The case may be so, that of two things offered, a man may, for certain reasons, 
choose and prefer the taking of that which he undervalues, and choose to 
neglect to take that which his mind prefers. In such a case, choosing the 
*hing taken, and choosing to take, are diverse ; and so they are in a case where 
the things presented are equal in the mind's esteem, and neither of them 
preferred. All that fact makes evident, is, that the mind chooses one action 
rather than another. And therefore the arguments which they bring, in order 
to be to their purpose, ought to be to prove that the mind chooses ihe action in 
perfect indifference, with respect to that action ; and not to prove that the 
mind chooses the action in perfect indifference with respect to the object ; which 
is very possible, and yet the Will not act without prevalent inducement, and 
proper preponderation. 

2. Another reason of confusion and difficulty in this matter, seems to be, 
not distinguishing between a general indifference, or an indifference with respect 
to what is to be done in a more distant and general view of it, and a particular 
indifference, or an indifference with respect to the next immediate act, viewed 
with its particular and present circumstances. A man may be perfectly indif- 
ferent with respect to his own actions, in the former respect ; and yet not in the 
latter. Thus, in the foregoing instance of touching one of the squares of a 
chessboard ; when it is first proposed that I should touch one of them, I may 
be perfectly indifferent which I touch ; because as yet I view the matter 
remotely and generally, being but in the first step of the mind's progress in the 
affair. But yet, when I am actually come to the last step, and the very next 
thing to be determined is which is to be touched, having already determined 
that I will touch that which happens to be most in my eye or mind, and my 
mind being now fixed on a particular one, the act of touching that, considered 
thus immediately, and in these particular present circumstances, is not what my 
mind is absolutely indifferent about. 


Concerning the notion of Liberty of Will, consisting in Indifference. 

What has been said in the foregoing section, has a tendency in some 
measure to evince the absurdity of the opinion of such as place Liberty in 
Indifference, or in that equilibrium whereby the Will is without all antecedent 
determination or bias, and left hitherto free from any prepossessing inclination 


to one side or the other; that so the determination of the Will to either side 
may be entirely from itself, and that it may be owing only to its own power, 
and that sovereignty which it has over itself, that it goes this way rather than 

Birc inasmuch as this has been of such long standing, and has been so 
generally received, and so much insisted on by Pelagians, Semipelagians, Jesuits, 
Socinians, Arminians and others, it may deserve a more full consideration. 
And therefore I shall now proceed to a more particular and thorough inquiry 
into this notion. 

Now, lest some should suppose that I do not understand those that place 
Liberty in Indifference, or should charge me with misrepresenting their opinion, 
I would signify, that I am sensible, there are some, who, when they talk of the 
Liberty of the Will as consisting in Indifference, express themselves as though 
they would not be understood of the Indifference of the inclination or tendency 
of the Will, but of, I know not what, Indifference of the soul's power of willing; 
or that the Will, with respect to its power or ability to choose, is indifferent, 
can go either way indifferently, either to the right hand or left, either act or 
forbear to act, one as well as the other. However, this seems to be a refining 
only of some particular writers, and newly invented, and which will by no 
means consist with the manner of expression used by the defenders of Liberty 
of Indifference in general. And I wish such refiners would thoroughly consider, 
whether they distinctly know their own meaning, when they make a distinction 
between Indifference of the soul as to its power or ability of willing or choosing, 
and the soul's Indifference as to the preference or choice itself ; and whether 
they do not deceive themselves in imagining that they have any distinct mean- 
ing. The Indifference of the soul as to its ability or power to Will, must be 
the same thing as the Indifference of the state of the power or faculty of the 
Will, or the Indifference of the state which the soul itself, which has that power 
or faculty, hitherto remains in, as to the exercise of that power, in the choice 
it shall by and by make. 

But not to insist any longer on the abstruseness and inexplicableness of this 
distinction ; let what will be supposed concerning the meaning of those that 
make use of it, thus much must at least be intended by Arminians when they 
talk of Indifference as essential to Liberty of Will, if they intend any thing, in 
any respect to their purpose, viz., that it is such an Indifference as leaves the 
Will not determined already ; but free from, and vacant of predetermination, so 
far, that there may be room for the exercise of the self-determining power of 
the Will ; and that the Will's freedom consists in, or depends upon this vacancy 
and opportunity that is left for the Will itself to be the determiner of the act 
that is to be the free act. 

And here I would observe in the first place, that to make out this scheme 
of Liberty, the Indifference must be perfect and absolute ; there must be a per- 

* Dr. Whitby, and some other Arminians, make a distinction of different kinds of freedom ; one of 
God, and perfect spirits above ; another of persons in a state of trial. The former Dr. Whitby allows to 
consist with necessity ; the latter he holds to be without necessity : and this latter he supposes to be 
requisite to our being the subjects of praise or dispraise, rewards or punishments, precepts and prohibi- 
tions, promises and threats, exhortations and dehortations, and a covenant treaty. And to this freedom 
he supposes Indifference to be requisite. In his Discourse on the five Points, p. 299, 300, he says, " It is 
a freedom (speaking of a freedom not only from coaction, but from necessity) requisite, as we conceive, 
to render us capable of trial or probation, and to render our actions worthy of praise or dispraise, and our 
persons of rewards or punishments." And in the next page, speaking of the same matter, he says, 
'* Excellent to this purpose, are the words of Mr. Thorndike : We say not that Indifference is requisite to all 
freedom, but to the freedom of man alone in this state of travail and projicience : the ground of which is God's 
tender of a treaty, and conditions of peace and reconcilement to fallen man, together with those precepts and prv 
hibitions, those promises and threats, those exhortations and dehortations, it is enforced with." 


feet freedom from all antecedent preponderation or inclination. Because if the 
Will be already inclined, before it exerts its own sovereign power on itself, then 
its inclination is not wholly owing to itself : if when two opposites are proposed 
to the soul for its choice, the proposal does not find the soul wholly in a state 
of Indifference, then it is not found in a state of Liberty for mere self-deter- 
mination. — The least degree of antecedent bias must be inconsistent with their 
notion of -Liberty. For so long as prior inclination possesses the Will, and is 
not removed, it binds the Will, so that it is utterly impossible that the Will 
should act or choose contrary to a remaining prevailing inclination of the Will. 
To suppose otherwise, would be the same thing as to suppose, that the Will is 
inclined contrary to its present prevailing inclination, or contrary to what it is 
inclined to. That which the Will chooses and prefers, that, all things con- 
sidered, it preponderates and inclines to. It is equally impossible for the Will 
to choose contrary to its own remaining and present preponderating inclination, 
as it is to prefer contrary to its own present preference, or choose contrary to its 
own present choice. The Will, therefore, so long as it is under the influence 
of an old preponderating inclination, is not at Liberty for a new free act, or 
any act that shall now be an act of self-determination. The act which is a 
self-determined free act, must be an act which the Will determines in the pos- 
session and use of such a Liberty, as consists in a freedom from every thing, 
which, if it were there, would make it impossible that the Will, at that time, 
should be otherwise than that way to which it tends. 

If any one should say, there is no need that the Indifference should be 
perfect ; but although a former inclination and preference still remain, yet, if it 
be nol very strong and violent, possibly the strength of the Will may oppose 
and overcome it : — this is grossly absurd ; for the strength of the Will, let it be 
ever so great, does not enable it to act one way, and not the contrary way, 
both at the same time. It gives it no such sovereignty and command, as to 
cause itself to prefer and not to prefer at the same time, or to choose contrary 
to its own present choice. 

Therefore, if there be the least degree of antecedent preponderation of the 
Will, it must be perfectly abolished, before the Will can be at liberty to de- 
termine itself the contrary way. And if the Will determines itself the same 
way, it is not a free determination, because the Will is not wholly at Liberty in 
so doing : its determination is not altogether from itself, but it was partly de- 
termined before, in its prior inclination ; and all the freedom the Will exercises in 
the case, is in an increase of inclination w r hich it gives itself, over and above 
what it had by the foregoing bias ; so much is from itself, and so much is from 
perfect Indifference. For though the Will had a previous tendency that way, 
yet as to that additional degree of inclination, it had no tendency. Therefore 
the previous tendency is of no consideration, with respect to the act wherein 
the Will is free. So that it comes to the same thing which was said at first, 
that as to the act of the Will, wherein the Will is free, there must be perfect 
Indifference, or equilibrium. 

To illustrate this ; if we should suppose a sovereign, self-moving power in 
a natural body, but that the body is in motion already, by an antecedent bias ; 
for instance, gravitation towards the centre of the earth ; and has one degree 
of motion already, by virtue of that previous tendency ; but by its self-moving 
power it adds one degree more to its motion, and moves so much more swiftly 
towards the centre of the earth than it would do by its gravity only : it is 
evident, that all that is owing to a self-moving power in this case, is the ad- 
ditional degree of motion ; and that the other degree of motion which it had 

Vol. II. 6 


from gravity, is of no consideration in the case, does not help the effect of the 
free self-moving power in the least ; the effect is just the same, as if the body 
had received from itself one degree of motion from a state of perfect rest. So 
if we should suppose a self-moving power given to the scale of a balance, which 
has a weight of one degree beyond the opposite scale ; and we ascribe to it an 
ability to add to itself another degree of force the same way, by its self-moving 
power ; this is just the same thing as to ascribe to it a power to give itself one 
degree of preponderation from a perfect equilibrium ; and so much power as 
the scale has to give itself an overbalance from a perfect equipoise, so much self- 
moving self-preponderating power it has, and no more. So that its free power 
this way is always to be measured from perfect equilibrium. 

I need say no more to prove, that if Indifference be essential to Liberty, it 
must be perfect Indifference ; and that so far as the Will is destitute of this, 
so far it is destitute of that freedom by which it is its own master, and in a 
capacity of being its own determiner, without being in the least passive, or 
subject to the power and sway of something else, in its motions and deter- 

Having observed these things, let us now try whether this notion of the 
Liberty of Will consisting in Indifference and equilibrium, and the Will's self- 
determination in such a state be not absurd and inconsistent. 

And here I would lay down this as an axiom of undoubted truth ; that every 
free act is done in a state of freedom, and not after such a state. If an act of 
the Will be an act wherein the soul is free, it must be exerted in a state of 
freedom, and in the time of freedom. It will not suffice, that the act immedi- 
ately follows a state of Liberty ; but Liberty must yet continue, and coexist 
with the act ; the soul remaining in possession of Liberty. Because that is the 
notion of a free act of the soul, even an act wherein the soul uses or exercises 
Liberty. But if the soul is not, in the very time of the act, in the possession of 
Liberty, it cannot at that time be in the use of it. 

Now the question is, whether ever the soul of man puts forth an act of 
Will, while it yet remains in a state of Liberty, in that notion of a state of 
Liberty, viz., as implying a state of Indifference, or whether the soul ever exerts 
an act of choice or preference, while at that very time the Will is in a perfect 
equilibrium, not inclining one way more than another. The very putting of 
the question is sufficient to show the absurdity of the affirmative answer; for 
how ridiculous would it be for any body to insist, that the soul chooses one thing 
before another, when at the very same instant it is perfectly indifferent with 
respect to each ! This is the same thing as to say, the soul prefers one 
thing to another, at the very same time that it has no preference. Choice and 
preference can no more be in a state of Indifference, than motion can be in a 
state of rest, or than the preponderation of the scale of a balance can be in a state 
of equilibrium. Motion may be the next moment after rest ; but cannot co- 
exist with it, in any, even the least part of it. So choice may be immediately 
after a state of Indifference, but has no coexistence with it ; even the very 
beginning of it is not in a state of Indifference. And therefore if this be 
Liberty, no act of the Will, in any degree, is ever performed in a state of 
Liberty, or in the time of Liberty. Volition and Liberty are so far from agree- 
ing together, and being essential one to another, that they are contrary one 
to another, and one excludes and destroys the other, as much as motion 
and rest, light and darkness, or life and death. So that the Will does not 
so much as begin to act in the time of such Liberty ; freedom is perfectly 
at an end, and has ceased to be, at the first moment of action ; and therefore 


Liberty cannot reach the action, to affect, or qualify it, or give it a denom- 
ination, or any part of it, any more than if it had ceased to be twenty years 
before the action began. The moment that Liberty ceases to be, it ceases 
to be a qualification of any thing. If light and darkness succeed one another 
instantaneously, light qualifies nothing after it is gone out, to make any 
thing lightsome or bright, any more at the first moment of perfect darkness, 
than months or years after. Life denominates nothing vital at the first moment 
of perfect death. So freedom, if it consists in, or implies Indifference, can 
denominate nothing free, at the first moment of preference or preponderation. 
Therefore it it is manifest, that no Liberty of which the soul is possessed, or 
ever uses, in any of its acts of volition, consists in Indifference ; and that the 
opinion of such as suppose, that Indifference belongs to the very essence of 
Liberty, is in the highest degree absurd and contradictory. 

If any one should imagine, that this manner of arguing is nothing but trick 
and delusion ; and to evade the reasoning, should say, that the thing wherein 
the Will exercises its Liberty, is not in the act of choice or preponderation itself, 
but in determining itself to a certain choice or preference ; that the act of the 
Will wherein it is free, and uses its own sovereignty, consists in its causing or 
determining the change or transition from a state of Indifference to a certain 
preference, or determining to give a certain turn to the balance, which has 
hitherto been even ; and that this act the Will exerts in a state of Liberty, or 
while the Will yet remains in equilibrium, and perfect master of itself. — I say, 
if any one chooses to express his notion of Liberty after this, or some such 
manner, let us see if he can make out his matters any better than before. 

What is asserted is, that the Will, while it yet remains in perfect equilibri- 
um, without preference, determines to change itself from that state, and excite 
in itself a certain choice or preference. Now let us see whether this does not 
come to the same absurdity we had before. If it be so, that the Will, while it 
yet remains perfectly indifferent, determines to put itself out of that state, and 
give itself a certain preponderation ; then I would inquire, whether the soul does 
not determine this of choice ; or whether the Will's coming to a determination to 
do so, be not the same thing as the soul's coming to a choice to do so. If the 
soul does not determine this of choice, or in the exercise of choice, then it does 
not determine it voluntarily. And if the soul does not determine it voluntarily, 
or of its own Will, then in what sense does its Will determine it ? And if the 
Will does not determine it, then how is the Liberty of the Will exercised in the 
determination 1 What sort of Liberty is exercised by the soul in those deter- 
minations, wherein there is no exercise of choice, which are not voluntary, and 
wherein the Will is not concerned ? — But if it be allowed, that this determina- 
tion is an act of choice, and it be insisted on, that the soul, while it yet remains 
in a state of perfect Indifference, chooses to put itself out of that state, and to 
turn itself one way ; then the soul is already come to a choice, and chooses 
that way. And so we have the very same absurdity which we had before. 
Here is the soul in a state of choice, and in a state of equilibrium, both at the 
same time : the soul already choosing one way, while it remains in a state of 
perfect Indifference, and has no choice of one way more than the other. — And 
indeed this manner of talking, though it may a little hide the absurdity in the 
obscurity of expression, is more nonsensical, and increases the inconsistence. 
To say, the free act of the Will, or the act which the Will exerts in a state of 
freedom and Indifference, does not imply preference in it, but is what the Will 
does in order to causing or producing a preference, is as much as to say, the 
soul chooses (for to Will and to choose are the same thing) without choice, and 


prefers without preference in order to cause or produce the beginning of a 
preference, or the first choice. And that is, that the first choice is exerted 
without choice, in order to produce itself. 

If any, to evade these things, should own, that a state of Liberty, and a 
state of Indifference are not the same thing, and that the former may be without 
the latter ; but should say, that Indifference is still essential to the freedom of 
an act of Will, in some sort, namely, as it is necessary to go immediately before 
it ; it being essential to the freedom of an act of Will that it should directly and 
immediately arise out of a state of Indifference : still this will not help the cause 
of Arminifln Liberty, or make it consistent with itself. For if the act springs 
immediately out of a state of Indifference, then it does not arise from antecedent 
choice or preference. But if the act arises directly out of a state of Indifference, 
without any intervening choice to choose and determine it, then the act not being 
determined by choice, is not determined by the Will ; the mind exercises no 
free choice in the affair, and free choice and free Will have no hand in the 
determination of the act. Which is entirely inconsistent with their notion of 
the freedom of Volition. 

If any should suppose, that these difficulties and absurdities may be avoided, 
by saying that the Liberty of the mind consists in a power to suspend the act 
of the Will, and -so to keep it in a state of Indifference, until there has been 
opportunity for consideration ; and so shall say that, however Indifference is 
not essential to Liberty in such a manner, that the mind must make its choice in 
a state of Indifference, which is an inconsistency, or that the act of Will must 
spring immediately out of Indifference ; yet Indifference may be essential to the 
Liberty of acts of the Will in this respect, viz., that Liberty consists in a Power 
of the mind to forbear or suspend the act of Volition, and keep the mind in a 
state of Indifference for the present, until there has been opportunity for proper 
deliberation : I say, if any one imagines that this helps the matter, it is a great 
mistake : it reconciles no inconsistency, and relieves no difficulty with which the 
affair is attended. — For here the following things must be observed : 

1. That this suspending of Volition, if there be properly any such thing, is 
itself an act of Volition. If the mind determines to suspend its act, it deter- 
mines it voluntarily ; it chooses, on some consideration, to suspend it. And 
this choice or determination, is an act of the Will : and indeed it is supposed to 
be so in the very hypothesis ; for it is supposed that the Liberty of the Will 
consists in its Power to do this, and that its doing it is the very thing wherein the 
Will exercises its Liberty. But how can the Will exercise Liberty in it, if it 
be not an act of the Will 1 The Liberty of the Will is not exercised in any 
thing but what the Will does. 

2. This determining to suspend acting is not only an act of the Will, but it 
is supposed to be the only free act of the Will ; because it is said, that this is the 
thing wherein the Liberty of the Will consists. — Now if this be so, then this is 
all the act of Will that we have to consider in this controversy, about the Liberty 
of Will, and in our inquiries, wherein the Liberty of man consists. And now 
the foremen tioned difficulties remain : the former question returns upon us, viz., 
Wherein consists the freedom of the Will in those acts wherein it is free ? 
And if this act of determining a suspension be the only act in which the 
Will is free, then wherein consists the Will's freedom with respect to this 
act of suspension ? And how is Indifference essential to this act ? The 
answer must be, according to what is supposed in the evasion under consideration, 
that the Liberty of the Will in this act of suspension, consists in a Power to 
suspend even this act, until there has been opportunity for thorough deliberation. 


But this will oe to plunge directly into the grossest nonsense : for it is the act 
of suspension itself that we are speaking of ; and there is no room for a space 
of deliberation and suspension in order to determine whether we will suspend or 
no. For that supposes, that even suspension itself may be deferred : which is 
absurd ; for the very deferring the determination of suspension to consider 
whether we will suspend or no, will be actually suspending. For during the 
space of suspension, to consider, whether to suspend, the act is ipso facto sus- 
pended. There is no medium between suspending to act, and immediately acting ; 
and therefore no possibility of avoiding either the one or the other one moment. 

And besides, this is attended with ridiculous absurdity another way : for 
now it is come to that, that Liberty consists wholly in the mind's having Power 
to suspend its determination whether to suspend or no ; that there may be time 
for consideration, whether it be best to suspend. And if Liberty consists in this 
only, then this is the Liberty under consideration. We have to inquire now, how 
Liberty with respect to this act of suspending a determination of suspension, 
consists in Indifference, or how Indifference is essential to it. The answer, ac- 
cording to the hypothesis we are upon, must be, that it consists in a Power of 
suspending even this last mentioned act, to have time to consider whether to 
suspend that And then the same difficulties and inquiries return over again 
with respect to that ; and so on for ever. Which if it would show any thing, 
would show only that there is no such thing as a free act. It drives the exercise 
of freedom back in infinitum ; and that is to drive it out of the world. 

And besides all this, there is a delusion, and a latent gross contradiction in 
the affair another way ; inasmuch as in explaining how, or in what respect 
the Will is free with regard to a particular act of Volition, it is said that its 
Liberty consists in a Power to determine to suspend that act, which places Lib- 
erty not in that act of Volition which the inquiry is about, but altogether in another 
antecedent act. Which contradicts the thing supposed in both the question and 
answer. The question is, wherein consists the mind's Liberty in any particular 
act of Volition ? And the answer, in pretending to show wherein lies the mind's 
Liberty in that act, in effect says, it does not lie in that act, but in another, viz., 
a Volition to suspend that act And therefore the answer is both contradictory, 
and altogether impertinent and beside the purpose. For it does not show 
wherein the Liberty of the Will consists in the act in question j instead of that, 
it supposes it does not consist in that act, but in another distinct from it, even a 
Volition to suspend that act, and take time to consider it. And no account is 
pretended to be given wherein the mind is free with respect to that act, wherein 
this answer supposes the Liberty of the mind indeed consists, viz., the act of 
suspension, or of determining the suspension. 

On the whole, it is exceedingly manifest, that the Liberty of the mind does 
not consist in Indifference, and that Indifference is not essential or necessary to 
it, or belonging to it, as the Arminians suppose ; that opinion being full of 
absurdity and self-contradiction. 


Concerning the supposed Liberty of the Will, as opposite to all Necessity. 

It is a thing chiefly insisted on by Arminians, in this controversy, as a thing 
most important and essential in human Liberty, that volitions, or the acts of the 


Will, are contingent events ; understanding contingence as opposite, not only to 
constraint, but to all necessity. Therefore I would particularly consider this 
matter. And, 

1. I would inquire, whether there is, or can be any such thing, as a volition 
which is contingent in such a sense, as not only to come to pass without any 
Necessity of constraint or coaction, but also without a Necessity of consequence, 
or an infallible connection with any thing foregoing. 

2. Whether, if it were so, this would at all help the cause of Liberty. 

I. I would consider whether volition is a thing that ever does, or can come 
to pass, in this manner, contingently. 

And here it must be remembered, that it has been already shown, that nothing 
can ever come to pass without a cause, or reason why it exists in this manner 
rather than another ; and the evidence of this has been particularly applied to 
the acts of the Will. Now if this be so, it will demonstrably follow, that the 
acts of the Will are never contingent, or without necessity in the sense spoken 
of; inasmuch as those things which have a cause, or reason of their existence, 
must be connected with their cause. This appears by the following considerations. 

1. For an event to have a cause and ground of its existence, and yet not to 
be connected with its cause, is an inconsistence. For if the event be not con- 
nected with the cause, it is not dependent on the cause ; its existence is as it 
were loose from its influence, and may attend it or may not ; it being a mere 
contingence, whether it follows or attends the influence of the cause, or not : 
and that is the same thing as not to be dependent on it. And to say the event 
is not dependent on its cause is absurd : it is the same thing as to say, it is not 
its cause, nor the event the effect of it : for dependence on the influence of a 
cause is the very notion of an effect. If there be no such relation between one 
thing and another, consisting in the connection and dependence of one thing on 
the influence of another, then it is certain there is no such relation between them 
as is signified by the terms cause and effect. So far as an event is dependent on 
a cause and connected with it, so much causality is there in the case, and no 
more. The cause does, or brings to pass no more in any event, than it is dependent 
on it. If we say the connection and dependence is not total, but partial, and 
that the effect, though it has some connection and dependence, yet it is not en- 
tirely dependent on it ; that is the same thing as to say, that not all that is in 
the event is an effect of that cause, but that only a part of it arises from thence, 
and part some other way. 

2. If there are some events which are not necessarily connected with their 
causes, then it will follow, that there are some things which come to pass without 
any cause, contrary to the supposition. For if there be any event which was 
not necessarily connected with the influence of the cause under such circumstances, 
then it was contingent whether it would attend or follow the influence of the 
cause, or no ; it might have followed, and it might not, when the cause was the 
same, its influence the same, and under the same circumstances. And if so, why 
did it follow rather than not follow ? There is no cause or reason of this. 
Therefore here is something without any cause or reason why it is, viz., the fol- 
lowing of the effect on the influence of the cause, with which it was not necessarily 
connected. If there be not a necessary connection of the effect on any thing 
antecedent, then we may suppose that sometimes the event will follow the cause, 
and sometimes not, when the cause is the same, and in every respect in the same 
state of circumstances. And what can be the cause and reason of this strange 
phenomenon, even this diversity, that in one instance, the effect should follow, 
in another, not 1 It is evident by the supposition, that this is wholly without 


any cause or ground. Here is something in the present manner of the existence 
of things, and state of the world that is absolutely without a cause ; which is 
contrary to the supposition, and contrary to what has been before demonstrated. 

3. To suppose there are some events which have a cause and ground of their 
existence, that yet are not necessarily connected with their cause, which is to 
suppose that they have a cause which is not their cause. Thus if the effect 
be not necessarily connected with the cause, with its influence and influential 
circumstances ; then, as I observed before, it is a thing possible and supposable, 
that the cause may sometimes exert the same influence, under the same circum- 
stances, and yet the effect not follow. And if this actually happens in any 
instance, this instance is a proof, in fact, that the influence of the cause is not 
sufficient to produce the effect. For if it had been sufficient, it would have done 
it. And yet, by the supposition, in another instance, the same cause, with 
perfectly the same influence, and when all circumstances which have any influence, 
were the same, it was followed with the effect. By which it is manifest, that 
the effect in this last instance was not owing to the influence of the cause, 
but must come to pass some other way. For it was proved before, that the in- 
fluence of the cause was not sufficient to produce the effect. And if it was not 
sufficient to produce it, then the production of it could not be owing to that 
influence, but must be owing to something else, or owing to nothing. And if 
the effect be not owing to the influence of the cause, then it is not the cause, 
which brings us to the contradiction of a cause, and no cause, that which is the 
ground and reason of the existence of a thing, and at the same time is not the 
ground and reason of its existence, nor is sufficient to be so. 

If the matter be not already so plain as to render any further reasoning upon 
it impertinent, I would say, that that which seems to be the cause in the sup- 
posed case, can be no cause ; its power and influence having, on a full trial, 
proved insufficient to produce such an effect : and if it be not sufficient to produce 
it, then it does not produce it. To say otherwise, is to say, there is power to do 
that which there is not power to do. If there be in a cause sufficient power 
exerted and in circumstances sufficient to produce an effect, and so the effect be 
actually produced at one time ; these things all concurring, will produce the 
effect at all times. And so we may turn it the other way ; that which proves 
not sufficient at one time, cannot be sufficient at another, with precisely the same 
influential circumstances. And therefore if the effect follows, it is not owing 
to that cause ; unless the different time be a circumstance which has influence : 
but that is contrary to the supposition ; for it is supposed that all circumstances 
that have influence, are the same. And besides, this would be to suppose the 
time to be the cause ; which is contrary to the supposition of the other thing's 
being the cause. But if merely diversity of time has no influence, then it is evi- 
dent that it is as much of an absurdity to say, the cause was sufficient to produce 
the effect at one time, and not at another ; as to say, that it is sufficient to produce 
the effect at a certain time, and yet not sufficient to produce the same effect at 
the same time. 

On the whole, it is clearly manifest, that every effect has a necessary con- 
nection with its cause, or with that which is the true ground and reason of its 
existence. And therefore if there be no event without a cause, as was proved 
before, then no event whatsoever is contingent in the manner, that Jlrminians 
suppose the free acts of the Will to be contingent 



Of the Connection of the Acts of the Will with the Dictates of the Understanding. 

It is manifest, that the acts of the Will are none of them contingent in such 
a sense as to be without all necessity, or so as not to be necessary with a neces- 
sity of consequence and Connection ; because every act of the Will is some way 
connected with the Understanding, and is as the greatest apparent good is, in 
the manner which has already been explained ; namely, that the soul always 
wills or chooses that which, in the present view of the mind, considered in the 
whole of that view, and all that belongs to it, appears most agreeable. Because, 
as was observed before, nothing is more evident than that, when men act volun- 
tarily, and do what they please, then they do what appears most agreeable to 
them j and to say otherwise, would be as much as to affirm, that men do not 
choose what appears to suit them best, or what seems most pleasing to them ; 
or that they do not choose what they prefer. Which brings the matter to a 

As it is very evident in itself, that the acts of the Will have some Connec- 
tion with the dictates or views of the Understanding, so this is allowed by some of 
the chief of the Arminian writers ; particularly by Dr. Whitby and Dr. Samuel 
Clark. Dr. Turnbull, though a great enemy to the doctrine of necessity, allows the 
same thing. In his Christian Philosophy, (p. 196,) he with much approbation 
cites another philosopher, as of the same mind, in these words : " No man (says an 
excellent philosopher) sets himself about any thing, but upon some view or other, 
which serves him for a reason for what he does ; and whatsoever faculties he 
employs, the Understanding, with such light as it has, well or ill formed, con- 
stantly leads ; and by that light, true or false, all her operative powers are direct- 
ed. The Will itself, how absolute and incontrollable soever it may be thought, 
never fails in its obedience to the dictates of the Understanding. Temples have 
their sacred images ; and we see what influence they have always had over a 
great part of mankind ; but in truth, the ideas and images in men's minds are 
the invisible powers that constantly govern them ; and to these they all pay 
universally a ready submission." 

But whether this be in a just consistence with themselves, and their own 
notions of liberty, I desire may now be impartially considered. 

Dr. Whitby plainly supposes, that the acts and determinations of the Will 
always follow the Understanding's apprehension or view of the greatest good to 
be obtained, or evil to be avoided ; or, in other words, that the determinations of 
the Will constantly and infallibly follow these two things in the Understanding : 
1. The degree of good to be obtained, and evil to be avoided, proposed to the 
Understanding, and apprehended, viewed, and taken notice of by it. 2. The 
degree of the Understanding's view, notice or apprehension of that good or evil; 
which is increased by attention and consideration. That this is an opinion he 
is exceeding peremptory in (as he is in every opinion which he maintains in his 
controversy with the Calvinists), with disdain of the contrary opinion as absurd 
and self-contradictory, will appear by the following words of his, in his Discourse 
on the Five Points.* 

" Now, it is certain, that what naturally makes the Understanding to perceive, 
is evidence proposed, and apprehended, considered or adverted to : for nothing 

* Second Edit. p. 211, 212, 213. 


^lse can be requisite to make us come to the knowledge of the truth. Again, 
what makes the Will choose, is something approved by the Understanding ; and 
consequently appearing to the soul as good. — And whatsoever it refuseth, is 
something represented by the Understanding, and so appearing to the Will, as 
evil. Whence all that God requires of us is and can be only this ; to refuse the 
evil, and choose the good. Wherefore, to say that evidence proposed, appre- 
hended and considered, is not sufficient to make the Understanding approve ; or 
that the greatest good proposed, the greatest evil threatened, when equally 
believed and reflected on, is not sufficient to engage the Will to choose the good 
and refuse the evil, is in effect to say, that which alone doth move the Will to 
choose or to refuse, is not sufficient to engage it so to do ; which being contradictory 
to itself, must of necessity be false. Be it then so, that we naturally have an 
aversion to the truths proposed to us in the gospel ; that only can make us in- 
disposed to attend to them, but cannot hinder our conviction, when we do 
apprehend them, and attend to them. Be it, that there is also a renitency to the 
good we are to choose ; that only can indispose us to believe it is, and to approve 
it as our chiefest good. Be it, that we are prone to the evil that we should 
decline ; that only can render it the more difficult for us to believe it is the worst 
of evils. But yet, what we do really believe to be our chiefest good, will still 
be chosen ; and what we apprehend to be the worst of evils, will, whilst we do 
continue under that conviction, be refused by us. It therefore can be only 
requisite, in order to these ends, that the Good Spirit should so illuminate our 
Understandings, that we, attending to, and considering what lies before us, should 
apprehend, and be convinced of our duty ; and that the blessings of the gospel 
should be so propounded to us, as that we may discern them to be our chiefest 
good ; and the miseries it threaten eth, so as we may be convinced that they are 
the worst of evils ; that we may choose the one, and refuse the other. " 

Here let it be observed, how plainly and peremptorily it is asserted, that the 
greatest good proposed, and the greatest evil threatened, when equally believed 
and reflected on, is sufficient to engage the Will to choose the good and refuse 
the evil, and is that alone which doth move the Will to choose or to refuse ; and 
that it is contradictory to itself, to suppose otherwise ; and therefore must of neces- 
sity be false ; and then what we do really believe to be our chiefest good, will 
still be chosen, and what we apprehend to be the worst of evils, will, whilst we 
continue under that conviction, be refused by us. — Nothing could have been said 
more to the purpose, fully to signify and declare, that the determinations of the Will 
must evermore follow the illumination, conviction and notice of the Understanding, 
with regard to the greatest good and evil proposed, reckoning both the degree 
of good and evil understood, and the degree of Understanding, notice and con- 
viction of that proposed good and evil ; and that it is thus necessarily, and can 
be otherwise in no instance : because it is asserted, that it implies a contradiction, 
to suppose it ever to be otherwise. 

I am sensible the Doctor's aim in these assertions is against the Calvinists ; 
to show, in opposition to them, that there is no need of any physical operation of 
the Spirit of God on the Will, to change and determine that to a good choice, 
but that God's operation and assistance is only moral, suggesting ideas to the 
Understanding ; which he supposes to be enough, if those ideas are attended to, 
infallibly to obtain the end. But whatever his design was, nothing can more 
directly and fully prove, that every determination of the Will, in choosing and 
refusing, is necessary ; directly contrary to his own notion of the liberty of the 
Will. For if the determination of the Will, evermore, in this manner, follows 
the light, conviction and view of the Understanding, concerning the greatest 

Vol. II. 7 


good and evil, and this be that alone which moves the Will, and it be a contra- 
diction to suppose otherwise ; then it is necessarily so, the Will necessarily 
follows this light or view of the Understanding, and not only in some of its acts, but 
in every act of choosing and refusing. So that the Will does not determine itself 
in any one of its own acts; but all its acts, every act of choice and refusal depends 
on, and is necessarily connected with some antecedent cause ; which cause is not 
the Will itself, nor any act of its own, nor any thing pertaining to that faculty, 
but something belonging to another faculty, whose acts go before the Will, in 
all its acts, and govern and determine them. 

Here, if it should be replied, that although it be true, that, according to the 
Doctor, the final determination of the Will always depends upon, and is infallibly 
connected with the Understanding's conviction, and notice of the greatest good ; 
yet the acts of the Will are not necessary ; because that conviction and notice 
of the Understanding- is first dependent on a preceding act of the Will, in deter- 
mining to attend to, and take notice of the evidence exhibited j by which means 
the mind obtains that degree of conviction, which is sufficient and effectual to 
determine the consequent and ultimate choice of the Will ; and that the Will, 
with regard to that preceding act, whereby it determines whether to attend or 
no, is not necessary ; and that in this, the liberty of the Will consists, that when 
God holds forth sufficient objective light, the Will is at liberty whether to com- 
mand the attention of the mind to it 

Nothing can be more weak and inconsiderate than such a reply as this. For 
that preceding act of the Will, in determining to attend and consider, still is an 
act of the Will (it is so to be sure, if the liberty of the Will consists in it, as is 
supposed) ; and if it be an act of the Will, it is an act of choice or refusal. And 
therefore, if what the Doctor asserts be true, it is determined by some antecedent 
light in the Understanding concerning the greatest apparent good or evil. For 
he asserts, it is that light which alone doth move the Will to choose or refuse. 
And therefore the Will must be moved by that in choosing to attend to the 
objective light afforded in order to another consequent act of choice ; so that 
this act is no less necessary than the other. And if we suppose another act of 
the Will, still preceding both these mentioned, to determine both, still that also 
must be an act of the Will, and an act of choice ; and so must, by the same 
principles, be infallibly determined by some certain degree of light in the 
Understanding concerning the greatest good. And let us suppose as many acts 
of the Will, one preceding another, as we please, yet they are every one of them 
necessarily determined by a certain degree of light in the Understanding, con- 
cerning the geatest and most eligible good in that case; and so, not one of them 
free according to Dr. Whitby's notion of freedom. — And if it be said, the reason 
why men do not attend to light held forth, is because of ill habits contracted by 
evil acts committed before, whereby their minds are indisposed to attend to, and 
consider the truth held forth to them by God, the difficulty is not at all avoided : 
still the question returns, What determined the Will in those preceding evil acts ? 
It must, by Dr. Whitby's principles, still be the view of the Understanding 
concerning the greatest good and evil. If this view of the Understanding be 
that alone which doth move the Will to choose or refuse, as the Doctor asserts, 
then every act of choice or refusal, from a man's first existence, is moved and 
determined by this view ; and this view of the Understanding, exciting and 
governing the act, must be before the act : and therefore the Will is necessarily 
determined, in every one of its acts, from a man's first existence, by a cause 
beside the Will, and a cause that does not proceed from, or depend on any act 
of the Will at all. Which at once utterly abolishes the Doctor's whole scheme 


of liberty of Will ; and he at one stroke, has cut the sinews of all his arguments 
from the goodness, righteousness, faithfulness and sincerity of God in his com- 
mands, promises, threatenings, calls, invitations, expostulations ; which he makes 
use of, under the heads of reprobation, election, universal redemption, sufficient 
and effectual grace, and the freedom of the Will of man ; and has enervated and 
made vain all those exclamations against the doctrine of the Calviniits, as 
charging God with manifest unrighteousness, unfaithfulness, hypocrisy, falla- 
ciousness, and cruelty ; which he has over, and over, and over again, numberless 
times in his book. 

Dr. Samuel Clark, in his Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of 
God,* to evade the argument to prove the necessity of volition, from its neces- 
sary Connection with the last dictate of the Understanding, supposes the latter 
not to be diverse from the act of the Will itself. But if it be so, it will not alter 
the case as to the evidence of the necessity of the act of the Will. If the dictate 
of the Understanding be the very same with the determination of the Will or 
choice, as Dr. Clark supposes, then this determination is no fruit or effect of 
choice : and if so, no liberty of choice has any hand in it ; as to volition or 
choice, it is necessary ; that is, choice cannot prevent it. If the last dictate of 
the Understanding be the same with the determination of volition itself, then the 
existence of that determination must be necessary as to volition ; inasmuch as 
volition can have no opportunity to determine whether it shall exist or no, it 
having existence already before volition has opportunity to determine any thing. 
It is itself the very rise and existence of volition. But a thing after it exists, has 
no opportunity to determine as to its own existence ; it is too late for that. 

If liberty consists in that which Arminians suppose, viz., in the Will's de- 
termining its own acts, having free opportunity, and being without all neces- 
sity ; this is the same as to say, that liberty consists in the soul's having power 
and opportunity to have what determinations of the Will it pleases or chooses. 
And if the determinations of the Will, and the last dictates of the Understanding, 
be the same thing, then liberty consists in the mind's having power to have what 
dictates of the Understanding it pleases, having opportunity to choose its own 
dictates of Understanding. But this is absurd ; for it is to make the determina- 
tion of choice prior to the dictate of the Understanding, and the ground of it, 
which cannot consist with the dictate of Understanding's being the determina- 
tion of choice itself. 

There is no way to do in this case, but only to recur to the old absurdity of 
one determination before another, and the cause of it ; and another before that, 
determining that ; and so on in infinitum. If the last dictate of the Under- 
standing be the determination of the Will itself, and the soul be free with regard 
to that dictate, in the Arminian notion of freedom ; then the soul, before that 
dictate of its Understanding exists, voluntarily and according to its own choice 
determines, in every case, what that dictate of the Understanding shall be ; 
otherwise, that dictate, as to the Will, is necessary, and the acts determined by 
it must also be necessary. So that there is a determination of the mind prior to 
that dictate of the Understanding ; an act of choice going before it, choosing 
and determining what that dictate of the Understanding shall be : and this pre- 
ceding act of choice, being a free act of Will, must also be the same with another 
last dictate of the Understanding : and if the mind also be free in that dictate 
of Understanding, that must be determined still by another ; and so on for ever- 

Besides, if the dictate of the Understanding, and determination of. the Will. 

* Edition VI. p. 93. 


be the same, this confounds the Understanding and Will, and makes them the 
same. Whether they be the same or no, 1 will not now dispute ; but only 
would observe, that if it be so, and the Arminian notion of liberty consists in a 
self-determining power in the Understanding, free of all necessity ; being 
independent, undetermined by any thing prior to its own acts and determinations; 
and the more the Understanding is thus independent, and sovereign over its own 
determinations, the more free. By this therefore the freedom of the soul, as a 
moral agent, must consist in the independence of the Understanding on any 
evidence or appearance of things, or any thing whatsoever, that stands forth to 
the view of the mind, prior to the Understanding's determination. And what a 
sort of liberty is this ! consisting in an ability, freedom and easiness of judging, 
either according to evidence, or against it ; having a sovereign command over 
itself at all times, to judge, either agreeably or disagreeably to what is plainly 
exhibited to its own view. Certainly it is no liberty that renders persons the 
proper subjects of persuasive reasoning, arguments, expostulations, and such 
like moral means and inducements. The use of which with mankind is a main 
argument of the Arminians, to defend their notion of liberty without all neces- 
sity. For according to this, the more free men are, the less they are under the 
government of such means, less subject to the power of evidence and reason, 
and more independent of their influence, in their determinations. 

And whether the Understanding and Will are the same or no, as Dr. Clark 
seems to suppose, yet, in order to maintain the Arminian notion of liberty without 
necessity, the free Will must not be determined by the Understanding, nor neces- 
sarily connected with the Understanding ; and the further from such connection, 
the greater the freedom. And when the liberty is full and complete, the determina- 
tions of the Will have no connection at all with the dictates of the Understand- 
ing. And if so, in vain are all the applications to the Understanding, in order 
to induce to any free virtuous act ; and so in vain are all instructions, counsels, 
invitations, expostulations, and all arguments and persuasives whatsoever ; for 
these are but applications to the Understanding, and a clear and lively exhibition 
of the objects of choice to the mind's view. But if, after all, the Will must be 
self-determined, and independent of the Understanding, to what purpose are 
things thus represented to the Understanding, in order to determine the choice ? 


Volition necessarily connected with the Influence of Motives ; with particular Ob- 
servations on the great Inconsistence of Mr. Chubb's Assertions and Reasonings, 
about the Freedom of the Will. 

That every act of the Will has some cause, and consequently (by what has 
been already proved) has a necessary connection with its cause, and so is neces- 
sary by a necessity of connection and consequence, is evident by this, that every 
act of the Will whatsoever is excited by some Motive : which is manifest, 
because, if the Will or mind, in willing and choosing after the manner that it 
does, is excited so to do by no motive or inducement, then it has no end which 
it proposes to itself, or pursues in so doing; it aims at nothing, and seeks 
nothing. And if it seek nothing, then it does not go after any thing or exert 
any inclination or preference towards any thing : which brings the matter to a 


contradiction ; because for the mind to Will something, and for it to go after 
something by an act of preference and inclination, are the same thing. 

But if every act of the Will is excited by a Motive, then that Motive is the 
cause of the act of the Will. If the acts of the Will are excited by motives, 
then Motives are the causes of their being excited ; or, which is the same thing, 
the cause of their being put forth into act and existence. And if so, the 
existence of the acts of the Will is properly the effect of their motives. Mo- 
tives do nothing as Motives or inducements, but by their influence ; and so 
much as is done by their influence is the effect of them. For that is the 
notion of an effect, something that is brought to pass by the influence of another 

And if volitions are properly the effects of their Motives, then they are 
necessarily connected with their Motives. — Every effect and event being, as 
proved before, necessarily connected with that, which is the proper ground and 
reason of its existence. Thus it is manifest, that volition is necessary, and is not 
from any self-determining power in the Will : the volition, which is caused by 
previous Motive and inducement, is not caused by the Will exercising a sove- 
reign power over itself, to determine, cause and excite volitions in itself. This 
is not consistent with the Will's acting in a state of indifference and equilibrium, 
to determine itself to a preference ; for the way in which Motives operate, is 
by biasing the Will, and giving it a certain inclination or preponderation one 

Here it may be proper to observe, that Mr. Chubb, in his Collection of 
Tracts on various subjects, has advanced a scheme of liberty, which is greatly 
divided against itself, and thoroughly subversive of itself ; and that many ways. 
1. He is abundant in asserting, that the Will, in all its acts, is influenced 
by Motive and excitement ; and that this is the previous ground and reason of 
all its acts, and that it is never otherwise in any instance. He says (p. 262), 
" No action can take place without some motive to excite it." And in page 
263, " Volition cannot take place without some previous reason or Motive to 
induce it." And in page 310, "Action would not take place without some 
reason or Motive to induce it ; it being absurd to suppose, that the active faculty 
would be exerted without some previous reason to dispose the mind to action." 
So also page 257. And he speaks of these things, as what we may be ab- 
solutely certain of, and which are the foundation, the only foundation we have 
of a certainty of the moral perfections of God. Page 252, 253, 254, 255, 261, 
262, 263, 264 

And yet at the same time, by his scheme, the influence of Motives upon us 
to excite to action, and to be actually a ground of volition, is consequent on the 
volition or choice of the mind. For he very greatly insists upon it, that in all 
free actions, before the mind is the subject of those volitions, which Motives 
excite, it chooses to be so. It chooses, whether it will comply with the Motive, 
which presents itself in view, or not ; and when various Motives are presented, 
it chooses which it will yield to, and which it will reject. So page 256, 
" Every man has power to act, or to refrain from acting agreeably with, or 
contrary to, any Motive that presents.". Page 257, "Every man is at liberty 
to act, or refrain from acting agreeably with, or contrary to, what each of these 
Motives considered singly, would excite him to. Man has power, and is as 
much at liberty to reject the Motive that does prevail, as he has power, and is 
at liberty to reject those Motives that do not." And so, page 310, 311, " In 
order to constitute a moral agent, it is necessary, that he should have power to act, 
or to refrain from acting, upon such moral Motives as he pleases." And to the 


like purpose in many other places. — According to these things, the Will acta 
first, and chooses or refuses to comply with the Motive, that is presented, before 
it falls under its prevailing influence : and it is first determined by the mind's 
pleasure or choice, what Motives it will be induced by, before it is induced by 

Now, how can these things hang together ? How can the mind first act, 
and by its act of volition and choice determine what Motive shall be the ground 
and reason of its volition and choice ? For this supposes the choice is already 
made, before the Motive has its effect ; and that the volition is already exerted 
before the Motive prevails, so as actually to be the ground of the volition ; and 
makes the prevailing of the Motive, the consequence of the volition, which yet it 
is the ground of. If the mind has already chosen to comply with a Motive, and 
to yield to its excitement, it does not need to yield to it after this : for the thing 
is effected already, that the Motive would excite to, and the Will is beforehand 
with the excitement ; and the excitement comes in too late, and is needless and 
in vain afterwards. If the mind has already chosen to yield to a Motive which 
invites to a thing, that implies, and in fact is a choosing the thing invited 
to ; and the very act of choice is before the influence of the Motive which 
induces, and is the ground of the choice ; the son is beforehand with the father 
that begets him : the choice is supposed to be the ground of that influence of 
the Motive, which very influence is supposed to be the ground of the choice. — 
And so vice versa, the choice is supposed to be the consequence of the influence 
of the Motive, which influence of the Motive is the consequence of that very 

And besides, if the Will acts first towards the Motive before it falls under its 
influence, and the prevailing of the Motive upon it to induce it to act and choose, 
be the fruit and consequence of its act and choice, then how is the Motive a 
previous ground and reason of the act and choice, so that in the nature of the 
thing, volition cannot take place without some previous reason and motive to 
induce it; and that this act is consequent upon, and follows the Motive? 
Which things Mr. Chubb often asserts, as of certain and undoubted truth. — 
So that the very same Motive is both previous and consequent, both before and 
after, both the ground and fruit of the very same thing ! 

II. Agreeable to the forementioned inconsistent notion of the Will's first act- 
ing towards the Motive, choosing whether it will comply with it, in order to its 
becoming a ground of the Will's acting, before any act of volition can take 
place, Mr. Chubb frequently calls Motives and excitements to the action of the 
Will the passive ground or reason of that action : which is a remarkable 
phrase ; than which I presume there is none more unintelligible, and void of 
distinct and consistent meaning, in all the writings of Duns Scotus, or Thomas 
Aquinas. When he represents the Motive to action or volition as passive, he 
must mean — passive in that affair, or passive with respect to that action which 
he speaks of; otherwise it is nothing to his purpose, or relating to the design 
of his argument : he must mean (if that can be called a meaning), that the 
Motive to volition, is first acted upon or towards by the volition, choosing to 
yield to it, making it a ground of action, or determining to fetch its influence 
from thence ; and so to make it a previous ground of its own excitation and 
existence. Which is the same absurdity as if one should say, that the soul of 
man, or any other thing, should, previous to its existence, choose what cause it 
would come into existence by, and should act upon its cause, to fetch influence 
from thence, to bring it into being ; and so its cause should be a passive ground 
of its existence ! 


Mr. Chubb does very plainly suppose Motive or excitement to be the ground 
Df the being of volition. He speaks of it as the ground or reason of the 
exertion of an act of the Will, p. 391, and 392, and expressly says, that 
volition cannot take place without some previous ground or Motive to induce to 
it, p. 363. And he speaks of the act as from the Motive, and from the in- 
fluence of the Motive, p. 352, and from the influence that the Motive has on the 
man for the Production of an action, p. 3 17. Certainly there is no need of multi- 
plying words about this ; it is easily judged, whether Motive can be the ground 
of volition's being exerted and taking place, so that the very production of it is 
from the influence of the Motive, and yet the Motive, before it becomes the ground 
of the volition, is passive, or acted upon by the volition. But this I will say, 
that a man, who insists so much on, clearness of meaning in others, and is so 
much in blaming their confusion and inconsistence, ought, if he was able, to 
have explained his meaning in this phrase of passive ground of action, so as to 
show it not to be confused and inconsistent. 

If any should suppose, that Mr. Chubb, when he speaks of Motive as a pas- 
sive ground of action, does not mean passive with regard to that volition which 
it is the ground of, but some other antecedent volition, (though his purpose and 
argument, and whole discourse, will by no means allow of such a supposition,) 
yet it would not help the matter in the least. For, (1.) If we suppose there to 
be an act of volition or choice, by which the soul chooses to yield to the invita- 
tion of a Motive to another volition, by which the soul chooses something else ; 
both these supposed volitions are in effect the very same. A volition, or choosing 
to yield to the force of a Motive inviting to choose something, comes to just the 
same thing as choosing the thing, which the Motive invites to, as I observed before. 
So that here can be no room to help the matter, by a distinction of two volitions. 
(2.) If the Motive be passive with respect, not to the same volition that the Motive 
excites to, but one truly distinct and prior ; yet, by Mr. Chubb, that prior volition 
cannot take place, without a Motive or excitement, as a previous ground of its 
existence. For he insists, that it is absurd to suppose any volition should take 
place without some previous Motive to induce it. So that at last it comes to just 
the same absurdity : for if every volition must have a previous Motive, then the 
very first in the whole series must be excited by a previous Motive ; and yet the 
Motive to that first volition is passive ; but cannot be passive with regard to 
another antecedent volition, because by the supposition, it is the very first : 
therefore if it be passive with respect to any volition, it must be so with regard 
to that very volition that it is the ground of, and that is excited by it. 

III. Though Mr. Chubb asserts, as above, that every volition has some 
Motive, and that in the nature of the thing, no volition can take place without 
some Motive to induce it ; yet he asserts, that volition does not always follow 
the strongest Motive; or, in other words, is not governed by any superior 
strength of the Motive that is followed, beyond Motives to the contrary, previous 
to the volition itself. His own words, p. 258, are as follow : " Though with 
regard to physical causes, that which is strongest always prevails, yet it is 
otherwise with regard to moral causes. Of these, sometimes the stronger, 
sometimes the weaker, prevails. And the ground of this difference is evident, 
namely, that what we call moral causes, strictly speaking, are no causes at all, 
but barely passive reasons of, or excitements to the action, or to the refraining 
from acting: which excitements we have power, or are at liberty to comply 
with or reject, as I have showed above." And so throughout the paragraph, 
he, m a variety of phrases, insists, that the Will is not always determined by the 
strongest Motive, unless by strongest we preposterously mean actually prevail- 


ing in the event ; which is not in the Motive, but in the Will ; so that the Will 
is not always determined by the Motive, which is strongest, by any strength 
previous to the volition itself. And he elsewhere does abundantly assert, that 
the Will is determined by no superior strength or advantage, that Motives have, 
from any constitution or state of things, or any circumstances whatsoever, pre- 
vious to the actual determination of the Will. And indeed his whole discourse 
on human liberty implies it, his whole scheme is founded upon it. 

But these things cannot stand together. — There is such a thing as a diversity 
of strength in Motives to choice previous to the choice itself. Mr. Chubb him 
self supposes, that they do previously invite, induce, excite, and dispose the mind 
to action. This implies, that they have something in themselves that is inviting, 
some tendency to induce and dispose to volition previous to volition itself. And 
if they have in themselves this nature and tendency, doubtless they have it in 
certain limited degrees, which are capable of diversity ; and some have it in 
greater degrees, others in less ; and they that have most of this tendency, con- 
sidered with all their nature and circumstances, previous to volition, are the 
strongest Motives ; and those that have least, are the weakest Motives. 

Now if volition sometimes does not follow the Motive which is strongest, or 
has most previous tendency or advantage, all things considered, to induce or 
excite it, but follows the weakest, or that which as it stands previously in the 
mind's view, has least tendency to induce it ; herein the Will apparently acts 
wholly without Motive, without any' previous reason to dispose the mind to it, 
contrary to what the same author supposes. The act, wherein the Will must 
proceed without a previous Motive to induce it, is the act of preferring the weakest 
Motive. For how absurd is it to say, the mind sees previous reason in the 
Motive, to prefer that Motive before the other ; and at the same time to suppose, 
that there is nothing in the Motive, in its nature, state, or any circumstances of 
it whatsoever, as it stands in the previous view of the mind, that gives it any 
preference ; but on the contrary, the other Motive that stands in competition 
with it, in all these respects, has most belonging to it, that is inviting and mov- 
ing, and has most of a tendency to choice and preference. This is certainly as 
much as to say, there is previous ground and reason in the Motive, for the act 
of preference, and yet no previous reason for it. By the supposition, as to all 
that is in the two rival Motives, which tends to preference, previous to the act 
of preference, it is not in that which is preferred, but wholly in the other : be- 
cause appearing superior strength, and all appearing preferableness is in that ; 
and yet Mr. Chubb supposes, that the act of preference is from previous ground 
and reason in the Motive which is preferred. But are these things consistent ? 
Can there be previous ground in a thing for an event that takes place, and yet 
no previous tendency in it to that event 1 If one thing follow another, without 
any previous tendency to its following, then I should think it very plain, that it 
follows it without any manner of previous reason, why it should follow. 

Yea, in this case, Mr. Chubb supposes, that the event follows an antecedent 
or a previous thing, as the ground of its existence, not only that has no tendency 
to it, but a contrary tendency. The event is the preference, which the mind 
gives to that Motive, which is weaker, as it stands in the previous view of the 
mind ; the immediate antecedent is the view the mind has of the two rival 
Motives conjunctly ; in which previous view of the mind, all the preferableness, 
or previous tendency to preference, is supposed to be on the other side, or in the 
contrary Motive ; and all the unworthiness of preference, and so previous ten- 
dency to comparative neglect, rejection or undervaluing, is on that side which is 
preferred and yet in this view of the mind is supposed to be the previous 


ground, or reason of this act of preference, exciting it, and disposing the mind 
to it. Which, I leave the reader to judge, whether it be absurd or not. If it 
be not, then it is not absurd to say, that the previous tendency of an antecedent 
to a consequent, is the ground and reason why that consequent does not follow ; 
and the want of a previous tendency to an event, yea, a tendency to the con- 
trary, is the true ground and reason why that event does follow. 

An act of choice or preference is a comparative act, wherein the mind acts 
with reference to two or more things that are compared, and stand in competi- 
tion in the mind's view. If the mind in this comparative act, prefers that which 
appears inferior in the comparison, then the mind herein acts absolutely without 
Motive, or inducement, or any temptation whatsoever. Then, if a hungry man 
has the offer of two sorts of food, both which he finds an appetite to, but has a 
stronger appetite to one than the other ; and there be no circumstances or ex- 
citements whatsoever in the case to induce him to take either the one or the 
other, but merely his appetite : if in the choice he makes between them, he 
chooses that, which he has the least appetite to, and refuses that, to which he has 
the strongest appetite, this is a choice made absolutely without previous Motive, 
excitement, reason or temptation, as much as if he were perfectly without all 
appetite to either : because his volition in this case is a comparative act, 
attending and following a comparative view of the food, which he chooses, 
viewing it as related to, and compared with the other sort of food, in which view 
his preference has absolutely no previous ground, yea, is against all previous 
ground and Motive. And if there be any principle in man, from whence an act 
of choice may arise after this manner, from the same principle, volition may 
arise wholly without Motive on either side. If the mind in its volition can go 
beyond Motive then it can go without Motive: for when it is beyond the 
Motive, it is out of the reach of the Motive, out of the limits of its influence, and 
bo without Motive. If volition goes beyond the strength and tendency of 
Motive, and especially if it goes against its tendency, this demonstrates the 
independence of volition or Motive. And if so, no reason can be given for 
what Mr. Chubb so often asserts, even that in the nature of things volition 
cannot take place without a Motive to induce it. 

If the Most High should endow a balance with agency or activity of nature, 
in such a manner, that when equal weights are put into the scales, its agency 
could enable it to cause that scale to descend, wjiich has the least weight, and 
so to raise the greater weight ; this would clearly demonstrate, that the motion of 
the balance does not depend on weights in the scales, at least as much as if the 
balance should move itself, when there is no weight in either scale. And the 
activity of the balance which is sufficient to move itself against the greater 
weight, must certainly be more than sufficient to move it when there is no 
weight at all. 

Mr. Chubb supposes, that the Will cannot stir at all without some Motive ; 
and also supposes, that if there be a Motive to one thing, and none to the con- 
trary, volition will infallibly follow that Motive. — This is virtually to suppose 
an entire dependence of the Will on Motives : if it were not wholly dependent 
on them, it could surely help itself a little without them, or help itself a little 
against a Motive, without help from the strength and weight of a contrary Motive. 
And yet his supposing that the Will, when it has before it various opposite 
Motives, can use them as it pleases, and choose its own influence from them, and 
neglect the strongest, and follow the weakest, supposes it to be wholly indepen- 
dent on Motives. 

It further appears, on Mr. Chubb's supposition, that volition must be withoi* 

Vol. II. 8 


any previous ground in any Motive, thus : if it be, as he supposes, that the Will 
is not determined by any previous superior strength of the Motive, but determines 
and chooses its own Motive, then when the rival Motives are exactly equal in 
strength and tendency to induce, in all respects, it may follow either ; and may 
in such a case, sometimes follow one, and sometimes the other. — And if so, this 
diversity which appears between the acts of the Will, is plainly without previous 
ground in either of the Motives ; for all that is previously in the Motives, is 
supposed precisely and perfectly the same, without any diversity whatsoever. 
Now perfect identity, as to all that is previous in the antecedent, cannot be the 
ground and reason of diversity in the consequent. Perfect identity in the ground 
cannot be the reason why it is not followed with the same consequence. Ano 
therefore the source of this diversity of consequence must be sought for else- 

And lastly, it may be observed, that however Mr. Chubb does much insist 
that no volition can take place without some Motive to induce it, which pre- 
viously disposes the mind to it ; yet, as he also insists that the mind, without 
reference to any previous superior strength of Motives, picks and chooses for its 
Motive to follow ; he himself herein plainly supposes, that with regard to the 
mind's preference of one Motive before another it is not the Motive that disposes 
the Will, but the Will disposes itself to follow the Motive. 

IV. Mr. Chubb supposes necessity to be utterly inconsistent with agency ; 
and that to suppose a being to be an agent in that which is necessary, is a plain 
contradiction. P. 311, and throughout his discourses on the subject of liberty, 
he supposes, that necessity cannot consist with agency or freedom ; and that to 
suppose otherwise, is to make liberty and necessity, action and passion, the same 
thing. And so he seems to suppose, that there is no action, strictly speaking, 
but volition ; and that as to the effects of volition in body or mind, in themselves 
considered, being necessary, they are said to be free, only as they are the effects 
of an act that is not necessary. 

And yet, according to him, volition itself is the effect of volition ; yea, every 
act of free volition : and therefore every act of free volition must, by what has 
now been observed from him, be necessary. — That every act of free volition is itself 
the effect of volition, is abundantly supposed by him. In p. 341, he says, " If a 
man is such a creature as I have proved him to be, that is, if he has in him a power 
or liberty of doing either good or evil, and either of these is the subject of his own 
free choice, so that he might, if he had pleased, have chosen and done the con- 
trary." Here he supposes, all that is good or evil in man is the effect of his choice ; 
and so that his good or evil choice itself, is the effect of his pleasure or choice, in 
these words, he might, if he had pleased, have chosen the contrary. So in p. 356, 
" Though it be highly reasonable, that a man should always choose the greater 
good — yet he may if he please, choose otherwise." Which is the same thing as if 
he had said, he may, if he chooses, choose otherwise." And then he goes on — 
" that is, he may, if he pleases, choose what is good for himself," &c. And again 
in the same page, " The Will is not confined by the understanding, to any par- 
ticular sort of good, whether greater or less ; but is at liberty to choose what kind 
of good it pleases" — If there be any meaning in the last words, the meaning 
must be this, that the Will is at liberty to choose what kind of good it chooses to 
choose ; supposing the act of choice itself determined by an antecedent choice. 
The liberty Mr. Chubb speaks of, is not only a man's having power to move his 
body agreeably to an antecedent act of choice, but to use or exert the faculties 
of his soul. Thus, in p. 379, speaking of the faculties of his mind, he says, 
" Man has power, and is at liberty to neglect these faculties, to use them aright, 


or to abuse them, as he pleases." And that he supposes an act of choice, or 
exercise of pleasure, properly distinct from, and antecedent to those acts thus 
chosen, directing, commanding and producing the chosen acts, and even the acts 
of choice themselves, is very plain in p. 283, " He can command his actions ; 
and herein consists his liberty ; he can give or deny himself that pleasure as he 
pleases." And p. 377, " If the actions of men are not the produce of a free 
choice, or election, but spring from a necessity of nature, he cannot in reason be 
the object of reward or punishment on their account. Whereas, if action in man, 
whether good or evil, is the produce of Will or free choice ; so that a man in 
either case, had it in his power, and was at liberty to have chosen the contrary, 
he is the proper object of reward or punishment, according as he chooses to be- 
have himself." Here, in these last words, he speaks of liberty of choosing, 
according as he chooses. So that the behavior which he speaks of as subject 
to his choice, is his choosing itself, as well as his external conduct consequent 
upon it. And therefore it is evident, he means not only external actions, but the 
acts of choice themselves, when he speaks of all free actions, as the produce of 
free choice. And this is abundantly evident in what he says in p. 372, 373. 
Now these things imply a twofold great absurdity and inconsistence. 

1. To suppose, as Mr. Chubb plainly does, that every free act of choice is 
commanded by, and is the produce of free choice, is to suppose the first free act of 
choice belonging to the case, yea, the first free act of choice that ever man ex- 
erted, to be the produce of an antecedent act of choice. But I hope I need not 
labor at all to convince my readers, that it is an absurdity to say, the very first 
act is the produce of another act that went before it. 

2. If it were both possible and real, as Mr. Chubb insists, that every free act 
of choice were the produce or the effect of a free act of choice ; yet even then, 
according to his principles, no one act of choice would be free, but every one 
necessary ; because, every act of choice being the effect of a foregoing act, every 
act would be necessarily connected with that foregoing cause. For Mr. Chubb 
himself says, p. 389, " When the self-moving power is exerted, it becomes the 
necessary cause of its effects." So that his notion of a free act, that is rewardable 
or punishable, is a heap of contradictions. It is a free act, and yet, by his own 
notion of freedom, is necessary ; and therefore by him it is a contradiction to 
suppose it to be free. According to him, every free act is the produce of a free 
act ; so that there must be an infinite number of free acts in succession, without 
any beginning, in an agent that has a beginning. And therefore here is an infi- 
nite number of free acts, every one of them free ; and yet not one of them free, 
but every act in the whole infinite chain a necessary effect. All the acts are 
rewardable or punishable, and yet the agent cannot, in reason, be the object of 
reward or punishment, on account of any one of these actions. He is active in 
them all, and passive in none ; yet active in none, but passive in all, &c. 

V. Mr. Chubb does most strenuously deny, that Motives are causes of the 
acts of the Will ; or that the moving principle in man is moved, or caused to be 
exerted by Motives. — His words, pages 388 and 389, are, " If the moving prin- 
ciple in man is moved, or caused to be exerted, by something external to man, 
which all Motives are, then it would not be a self-moving principle, seeing it 
would be moved by a principle external to itself. And to say, that a self-moving 
principle is moved, or caused to be exerted, by a cause external to itself, is ab- 
surd and a contradiction," &c. And in the next page, it is particularly and 
largely insisted, that motives are causes in no case, that they are merely passive 
in the production vf action, and have no causality in the production of it ; no 
causality, to be the cause of the exertion of the Will. 


Now I desire it may be considered, how this can possibly consist with what 
he sa\s in other places. Let it be noted here, 

1. Mr. Chubb abundantly speaks of Motives as excitements of the acts of 
the Will ; and says, that Motives do excite volition, and induce it, and that they 
are necessary to this end ; that in the reason and nature of things, volition can- 
not take place without Motives to excite it. But now, if Motives excite the Will, 
they move it ; and yet he says, it is absurd to say, the Will is moved by Motives 
And again (if language is of any significancy at all), if Motives excite volition, 
then they are the cause of its being excited ; and to cause volition to be excited, 
is to cause it to be put forth or exerted. Yea, Mr. Chubb says himself, p. 317 
Motive is necessary to the exertion of the active faculty. To excite, is positively 
to do something ; and certainly that which does something, is the cause of the 
thing done by it. To create, is to cause to be created ; to make, is to cause to 
be made ; to kill, is to cause to be killed ; to quicken, is to cause to be quicken- 
ed ; and to excite, is to cause to be excited. To excite, is to be a cause, in the most 
proper sense, not merely a negative occasion, but a ground of existence by positive 
influence. The notion of exciting, is exerting influence to cause the effect to 
arise or come forth into existence. 

\ 2. Mr. Chubb himself, page 317, speaks of Motives as the ground and 
reason of action by influence, and by prevailing influence. Now, what can 
be meant by a cause, but something that is the ground and reason of a thing by 
its influence, an influence that is prevalent and so effectual ? 

3. This author not only speaks of Motives as the ground and reason of action, 
by prevailing influence ; but expressly of their influence as prevailing for the 
production of an action, in the same page 317 : which makes the inconsistency 
still more palpable and notorious. The production of an effect is certainly the 
causing of an effect ; and productive influence is causal influence, if any thing is ; 
and that which has this influence prevalently, so as thereby to become the ground 
of another thing, is a cause of that thing, if there be any such thing as a cause. 
This influence, Mr. Chubb says, Motives have to produce an action ; and yet, 
he says, it is absurd and a contradiction, to say they are causes. 

4. In the same page, he once and again speaks of Motives as disposing the 
agent to action, by their influence. His words are these : " As Motive, which 
takes place in the understanding, and is the product of intelligence, is necessary 
to action, that is, to the exertion of the active faculty, because that faculty 
would not be exerted without some previous reason to dispose the mind to 
action ; so from hence it plainly appears, that when a man is said to be disposed 
to one action rather than another, this properly signifies the prevailing influ- 
ence that one Motive has upon a man for the production of an action, or for 
the being at rest, before all other Motives, for the production of the contrary. — 
For as Motive is the ground and reason of any action, so the Motive that prevails, 
disposes the agent to the performance of that action." 

Now, if Motives dispose the mind to action, then they cause the mind to be 
disposed ; and to cause the mind to be disposed is to cause it to be willing ; and 
to cause it to be willing is to cause it to Will ; and that is the same thing as to be 
the cause of an act of the Will. And yet this same Mr. Chubb holds it to be 
absurd, to suppose Motive to be a cause of the act of the Will. 

And if we compare these things together, we have here again a whole heap of 
inconsistencies. Motives are the previous ground and reason of the acts of the 
Will ; yea, the necessary ground and reason of their exertion, without which 
they will not be exerted, and cannot, in the nature of things, take place ; and they 
do excite these acts of the Will, and do this by aprevailing influence ; yea, an influ- 


ence which prevails for the production of the act of the Will, and for the disposing 
of the mind to it ; and yet it is absurd to suppose Motive to be a cause of an act of the 
Will, or that a principle of Will is moved or caused to be exerted by it, or that it 
has any causality in the production of it, or any causality to be the cause of the 
exertion of the Will. 

A due consideration of these things which Mr. Chubb has advanced, the 
strange inconsistencies which the notion of liberty, consisting in the Will's power 
of self-determination void of all necessity, united with that dictate of common 
sense, that there can be no volition without a Motive, drove him into, may be 
sufficient to convince us, that it is utterly impossible ever to make that notion of 
liberty consistent with the influence of Motives in volition. And as it is in a 
manner self-evident, that there can be no act of Will, choice, or preference of 
the mind, without some Motive or inducement, something in the mind's view, 
which it aims at, seeks, inclines to, and goes after ; so it is most manifest, there 
is no such liberty in the universe as Arminians insist on ; nor any such thing pos- 
sible, or conceivable. 


The Evidence of God's certain Foreknowledge of the Volitions of moral Agents. 

That the acts of the Wills of moral agents are not contingent events, in that 
sense, as to be without all necessity, appears by God's certain foreknowledge of 
such events. 

In handling this argument, I would in the first place prove, that God has a 
certain foreknowledge of the voluntary acts of moral agents ; and secondly, 
show the consequence, or how it follows from hence, that the volitions of moral 
agents are not contingent, so as to be without necessity of connection and con- 

First, I am to prove, that God has an absolute and certain foreknowledge 
of the free actions of moral agents. 

One would think, it should be wholly needless to enter on such an argument 
with any that profess themselves Christians : but so it is ; God's certain fore- 
knowledge of the free acts of moral agents, is denied by some that pretend to 
believe the Scriptures to be the word of God ; and especially of late. I therefore 
shall consider the evidence of such a prescience in the Most High, as fully as the 
designed limits of this essay will admit of ; supposing myself herein to have to 
do with such as own the truth of the Bible. 

Arg. I. My first argument shall be taken from God's prediction of such events. 
Here I would, in the first place, lay down these two things as axioms. 

( 1.) If God does not foreknow, he cannot foretell such events ; that is, he 
cannot peremptorily and certainly foretell them. If God has no more than an 
uncertain guess concerning events of this kind, then he can declare no more than 
an uncertain guess. Positively to foretell, is to profess to foreknow, or to declare 
positive foreknowledge. 

(2.) If God does not certainly foreknow the future volitions of moral agents, 
then neither can he certainly foreknow those events which are consequent and 
dependent on these volitions. The existence of the one depending on the exist- 
ence of the other ; the knowledge of the existence of the one depends on the 


knowledge of the existence of the other ; and the one cannot be more certain 
than the other. 

Therefore, how many, how great and how extensive soever the consequences 
of the volitions of moral agents may be ; though they should extend to an 
alteration of the state of things through the universe, and should be continued 
in a series of successive events to all eternity, and should in the progress of things 
branch forth into an infinite number of series, each of them going on in an endless 
line or chain of events ; God must be as ignorant of all these consequences, as 
he is of the volitions whence they take their rise : all these events, and the whole 
state of things depending on them, how important, extensive and vast soever, 
must be hid from him. 

These positions being such as, I suppose, none will deny, I now proceed to 
observe the following things. 

1. Men's moral conduct and qualities, their virtues and vices, their wicked- 
ness and good practice, things rewardable and punishable, have often been foretold 
by God. Pharaoh's moral conduct, in refusing to obey God's command, in letting 
his people go, was foretold. God says to Moses, Exod. iii. 19, " I am sure, 
that the king of Egypt will not let you go." Here God professes not only to 
guess at, but to know Pharaoh's future disobedience. In chap. vii. 4, God says, 
but Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you ; that I may lay mine hand upon Egypt, 
&c. And chap. ix. 30, Moses says to Pharaoh, as for thee, and thy servants t 1 
know that ye mill not fear the Lord. See also chap. xi. 9 The moral conduct 
of Josiah, by name, in his zealously exerting himself in opposition to idolatry, 
in particular acts of his, was foretold above three hundred years before he was 
born and the prophecy sealed by a miracle, and renewed and confirmed by the 
words of a second prophet, as what surely would not fail, 1 Kings xiii. 1 — 6, 32. 
This prophecy was also in effect a prediction of the moral conduct of the people, 
in upholding their schismatical and idolatrous worship until that time, and the 
idolatry of those priests of the high places, which it is foretold Josiah should offer 
upon that altar of Bethel. — Micaiah foretold the foolish and sinful conduct of 
Ahab, in refusing to hearken to the word of the Lord by him, and choosing rather 
to hearken to the false prophets, in going to Ramoth Gilead to his ruin, 1 Kings 
xxi. 20 — 22. The moral conduct of Hazael was foretold, in that cruelty he 
should be guilty of ; on which Hazael says, What, is thy servant a dog, that he 
should do this thing ! The prophet speaks of the event as what he knew, and 
not what he conjectured, 2 Kings viii. 12. / know the evil that thou wilt do 
unto the children of Israel : Thou wilt dash their children, and rip up their wo- 
men with child. The moral conduct of Cyrus is foretold, long before he had a 
being, in his mercy to God's people, and regard to the true God, in turning the 
captivity of the Jews, and promoting the building of the Temple, Isaiah xliv. 28, 
xlv. 13. Compare 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, 23, and Ezra i. 1 — 4. How many in- 
stances of the moral conduct of the Kings of the North and South, particular 
instances of the wicked behavior of the Kings of Syria and Egypt, are foretold 
in the xith chapter of Daniel ? Their corruption, violence, robbery, treachery 
and lies. And particularly, how much is foretold of the horrid wickedness of 
Antiochus Epiphanes, called there a vile person, instead of Epiphanes, or illus- 
trious. In that chapter, and also in chap. viii. verses 9, 14, 23, to the end, are 
foretold his flattery, deceit and lies, his having his heart set to do mischief, and 
set against the holy covenant, his destroying and treading under foot the holy 
people, in a marvellous manner, his having indignation against the holy covenant, 
setting his heart against it, and conspiring against it, his polluting the sanctua- 
ry of strength, treading it underfoot, taking away the daily sacrifice, and placing 


the abomination that maketh desolate ; his great pride, magnifying himself 
against God, and uttering marvellous blasphemies against him, until God in 
indignation should destroy him. Withal, the moral conduct of the Jews, on 
occasion of his persecution, is predicted. It is foretold, that he shoidd corrupt 
many by flatteries, chap. xi. 32 — 34. But that others should behave with a glo- 
rious constancy and fortitude in opposition to him, ver. 32. And that some good 
men should fall and repent, ver. 35. Christ foretold Peter's sin, in denying his 
Lord, with its circumstances, in a peremptory manner. And so that great sin 
of Judas, in betraying his master, and its dreadful and eternal punishment in hell, 
was foretold in the like positive manner, Matth. xxvi. 21 — 25, and parallel places 
in the other Evangelists. 

2. Many events have been foretold by God, which were consequent and 
dependent on the moral conduct of particular persons, and were accomplished, 
either by their virtuous or vicious actions. — Thus, the children of Israel's going 
down into Egypt to dwell there, was foretold to Abraham, Gen. xv., which was 
brought about by the wickedness of Joseph's brethren in selling him, and the 
wickedness of Joseph's mistress, and his own signal virtue in resisting her temp- 
tation. The accomplishment of the thing prefigured in Joseph's dream, depended 
on the same moral conduct. Jotham's parable and prophecy, Judges ix. 15 — 20, 
was accomplished by the wicked conduct of Abimelech, and the men of Shechem. 
The prophecies against the house of Eli, 1 Sam. chap. ii. and iii., were accom- 
plished by the wickedness of Doeg the Edomite, in accusing the priests ; and 
the great impiety, and extreme cruelty of Saul in destroying the priests at Nob, 
1 Sam. xxii. Nathan's prophecy against David, 2 Sam. xii. 11, 12, was fulfilled 
by the horrible wickedness of Absalom, in rebelling against his father, seeking 
his life and lying with his concubines in the sight of the sun. The prophecy 
against Solomon, 1 Kings xi. 11 — 13, was fulfilled by Jeroboam's rebellion and 
usurpation, which are spoken of as his wickedness, 2 Chron. xiii. 5, 6, compare 
verse 18. The prophecy against Jeroboam's family, 1 Kings xiv., was fulfilled 
by the conspiracy, treason, and cruel murders of Baasha, 1 Kings xv. 27, &c. 
The predictions of the prophet Jehu against the house of Baasha, 1 Kings xvi. 
at the beginning, were fulfilled by the treason and parricide of Zimri, 1 Kings 
xvi. 9, 13, 20. 

3. How often has God foretold the future moral conduct of nations and peo- 
ple, of numbers, bodies, and successions of men ; with God's judicial proceedings, 
and many other events consequent and dependent on their virtues and vices ; 
which could not be foreknown, if the volitions of men, wherein they acted as 
moral agents, had not been foreseen ? The future cruelty of the Egyptians in 
oppressing Israel, and God's judging and punishing them for it, was foretold long 
before it came to pass, Gen. xv. 13, 14. The continuance of the iniquity of the 
Amorites, and the increase of it until it should be full, and they ripe for destruc- 
tion, was foretold above four hundred years beforehand, Gen. xv. 16, Acts vii. 
6, 7. The prophecies of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the land of Judah, 
were absolute, 2 Kings xx. 17 — 19, chap. xxii. 15 to the end. It was foretold 
in Hezekiah's time, and was abundantly insisted on in the book of the prophet 
Isaiah, who wrote nothing after Hezekiah's days. It was foretold in Josiah's 
time, in the beginning of a great reformation, 2 Kings xxii. And it is manifest 
by innumerable things in the predictions of the prophets, relating to this event, 
its time, its circumstances, its continuance and end ; the return from the captivity, 
the restoration of the temple, city and land, and many circumstances and conse- 
quences of that ; I say, these show plainly, that the prophecies of this great 
event were absolute. And yet this event was connected with, and dependent on 


two things in men's moral conduct : First, the injurious rapine and violence of 
the king of Babylon and his people, as the efficient cause ; which God often 
speaks of as what he highly resented, and would severely punish ; and 2dly, 
the final obstinacy of the Jews. That great event is often spoken of as suspend- 
ed on this, Jer. iv. 1, and v. 1, vii. 1 — 7, xi. 1 — 6, xvii. 24 to the end, xxv. 1 — 7, 
xxvi. 1 — 8, 13, and xxxviii. 17, 18. Therefore this destruction and captivity 
could not be foreknown, unless such a moral conduct of the Chaldeans and 
Jews had been foreknown. And then it was foretold, that the people should 
be finally obstinate, to the destruction and utter desolation of the city and land, 
Isa. vi. 9—11, Jer. i. 18, 19, vii. 27—29, Ezek. iii. 7, and xxiv. 13, 14. 

The final obstinacy of those Jews who were left in the land of Israel, in their 
idolatry and rejection of the true God was foretold, by God, and the prediction 
confirmed with an oath, Jer. xliv. 26, 27. And God tells the people, Isa. xlviii. 
3, 4 — 8, that he had predicted those things which should be consequent on their 
treachery and obstinacy, because he knew they would be obstinate, and that he 
had declared these things beforehand for their conviction of his being the only true 
God, &c. 

The destruction of Babylon, with many of the circumstances of it, was fore- 
told, as the judgment of God for the exceeding pride and haughtiness of the 
heads of that monarchy, Nebuchadnezzar and his successors, and their wickedly 
destroying other nations, and particularly for their exalting themselves against 
the true God and his people, before any of these monarchs had a being ; Isa. 
chap. xiii. xiv. xlvii, compare Hab. ii. 5 to the end, and Jer. chap. i. and li. 
That Babylon's destruction was to be a recompense, according to the works of 
their ovm hands, appears by Jer. xxv. 14. The immorality which the people 
of Babylon, and particularly her princes and great men, were guilty of, that very 
night that the city was destroyed, their revelling and drunkenness at Belshaz- 
zar's idolatrous feasts, was foretold, Jer. li. 39, 57. 

The return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity is often very particularly 
foretold with many circumstances, and the promises of it are very peremptory, 
Jer. xxxi. 35—40, and xxxii. 6 — 15, 41—44, and xxxiii. 24 — 26. And the 
very time of their return was prefixed, Jer. xxv. 11 — 12, and xxix. 10 — 11, 
2 Chron. xxxvi. 21, Ezek. iv. 6, and Dan. ix. 2. And yet the prophecies represent 
their return as consequent on their repentance. And their repentance itself is 
very expressly and particularly foretold, Jer. xxix. 12, 13, 14, xxxi. 8, 9, 18 — 
31, 1. 4, 5, Ezek. vi. 8, 9, 10, vii. 16, xiv. 22, 23, and xx. 43, 44. 

It was foretold under the Old Testament, that the Messiah should suffer 
greatly through the malice and cruelty of men ; as is largely and fully set forth, 
Psal. xxii., applied to Christ in the New Testament, Matth. xxvii. 35, 43, Luke 
xxiii. 34, John xix. 24, Heb. ii. 12. And likewise in Psal. lxix., which, it is 
also evident by the New Testament, is spoken of Christ ; John ii. 17, xv. 25, 
&c. and Rom. xv. 3, Matth. xxvii. 34, 48, Mark xv. 23, John xix. 29. 
The same thing is also foretold, Isa. liii. and 1. 6, and Mic. v. 1. This cruelty 
of men was their sin, and what they acted as moral agents. It was foretold, 
that there should be an union of Heathen and Jewish rulers against Christ, Psal 
ii. 1, 2, compared with Acts iv. 25 — 28. It was foretold, that the Jews should 
generally reject and despise the Messiah, Isa. xlix. 5, 6, 7, and liii. 1—3, Psal. 
xxii. 6, 7, and lxix. 4, 8, 19, 20. And it was foretold, that the body of that 
nation should be rejected in the Messiah's days, from being God's people, for 
their obstinacy in sin; Isa. xlix. 4 — 7, and viii. 14, 15, 16, compared with 
Rom. ix. 33, and Isa. lxv. at the beginning, compared with Rom. x. 20, 21. 
It was foretold, that Christ should be rejected by the chief priests and rulers 


among the Jews, Psal. cxviii. 22, compared with Matth. xxi. 42, Acts iv. 11, 
1 Pet. ii. 4, 7. 

Christ himself foretold his being delivered into the hands of the elders, chief 
priests and scribes, and his being cruelly treated by them, and condemned to 
death ; and that he, by them, should be delivered to the Gentiles ; and that 
he should be mocked and scourged and crucified, (Matth. xvi. 21, andxx. 17 — 
19, Luke ix. 22, John viii. 28,) and that the people should be concerned in, 
and consenting to his death, (Luke xx. 13 — 18,) especially the inhabitants of 
Jerusalem, Luke xiii. 33 — 35. He foretold, that the disciples should all be 
offended because of him that night that he was betrayed, and should forsake 
huu, Matth. xxvi. 31, John xvi. 32. He foretold, that he should be rejected 
of that generation, even the body of the people, and that they should continue 
obstinate, to their ruin, Matth. xii. 45, xxi. 33 — 42, and xxii. 1 — 7, Luke 
xiv. 16, 21, 24, xvii. 25, xix. 14, 27, 41—44, xx. 13—18. 

As it was foretold in both Old Testament and New, that the Jews should 
reject the Messiah, so it was foretold that the Gentiles should receive Him, and 
so be admitted to the privileges of God's people ; in places too many to be now 
particularly mentioned. It was foretold in the Old Testament, that the Jews 
should envy the Gentiles on this account, Deut. xxxii. 21, compared with 
Rom. x. 19. Christ himself often foretold, that the Gentiles would embrace the 
true religion, and become his followers and people, Matth. viii. 10, 1 1, 12, 
xxi. 41 — 43, and xxii. 8 — 10, Luke xiii 28, xiv. 16 — 24, and xx. 16, John 
x. 16. He also foretold the Jews' envy of the Gentiles on this occasion, Matth. 
xx. 12 — 16, Luke xv. 26 to the end. He foretold, that they should continue 
in this opposition and envy, and should manifest it in cruel persecutions of his 
followers, to their utter destruction, Matth. xxi. 33 — 42, xxii. 6, and xxiii. 34 
— 39, Luke xi. 49 — 51. The Jews' obstinacy is also foretold, Acts xxii. 18. 
Christ often foretold the great persecutions his followers should meet with, both 
from Jews and Gentiles ; Matth. x. 16—18, 21, 22, 34—36, and xxiv. 9, 
Mark xiii. 9, Luke x. 3, xii. 11, 49—53, and xxi. 12, 16, 17, John xv. 18 
— 21, and xvi. 1 — 4. He foretold the martyrdom of particular persons, Matth. 
xx. 23. John xiii. 36, and xxi. 18, 19, 22. He foretold the great success ol 
the Gospel in the city of Samaria, as near approaching ; which afterwards was 
fulfilled by the preaching of Philip, John iv. 35 — 38. He foretold the rising 
of many deceivers after his departure, Matth. xxiv. 4, 5, 11, and the apostasy 
of many of his professed followers, Matth. xxiv. 10 — 12. 

The persecutions, which the Apostle Paul was to meet with in the world, 
were foretold, Acts ix. 16, xx. 23, and xxi. 11. The apostle says to the 
Christian Ephesians, Acts xx. 29, 30, / know that after my departure shall 
grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock ; also of your own 
selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after 
them. The apostle says, He knew this ; but he did not know it, if God did not 
know the future actions of moral agents. 

4. Unless God foreknows the future actions of moral agents, all the prophe- 
cies we have in Scripture concerning the great Antichristian apostasy ; the rise, 
reign, wicked qualities, and deeds of the man of sin, and his instruments and 
adherents ; the extent and long continuance of his dominion, his influence on the 
minds of princes and others, to corrupt them, and draw them away to idolatry, 
and other foul vices ; his great and cruel persecutions ; the behavior of the saints 
under these great temptations, &c. &c. I say, unless the volitions of moral agents 
are foreseen, all these prophecies are uttered without knowing the things foretold. 

The predictions relating to this great apostasy are all of a moral nature, relat- 

Vol. II. 9 


ing to men's virtues and vices, and their exercises, fruits and consequences, and 
events depending on them ; and are very particular ; and most of them often 
repeated, with many precise characteristics, descriptions, and limitations of qual- 
ities, conduct, influence, effects, extent, duration, periods v circumstances, final 
issue, &c, which it would be tedious to mention particularly. And to suppose, 
that all these are predicted by God, without any certain knowledge of the future 
moral behavior of free Agents, would be to the utmost degree absurd. 

5. Unless God foreknows the future acts of men's wills, and their behavior as 
moral Agents, all those great things which are foretold both in the Old Testa- 
ment and the New, concerning the erection, establishment and universal extent 
of the kingdom of the Messiah, were predicted and promised while God was in 
ignorance whether any of these things would come to pass or no, and did but 
guess at them. For that kingdom is not of this world, it does not consist in things 
external, but is within men, and consists in the dominion of virtue in their hearts, 
in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost ; and in these things 
made manifest in practice, to the praise and glory of God. The Messiah came 
to save men from their sins, and deliver them from their spiritual enemies ; " that 
they might serve him in righteousness and holiness before him : He gave himself 
for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a pecu- 
liar people, zealous of good works." And therefore his success consists in 
gaining men's hearts to virtue, in their being made God's willing people in the 
day of his power. His conquest of his enemies consists in his victory over men's 
corruptions and vices. And such a victory, and such a dominion is often ex- 
pressly foretold : that his kingdom should fill the earth ; that all people, na':ons 
and languages should serve and obey him ; and so that all nations should go up 
to the mountain of the house of the Lord, that he might teach them his ways, 
and that they might walk in his paths ; and that all men should be drawn to 
Christ, and the earth be full of the knowledge of the Lord (by which, in. the style 
of Scripture, is meant true virtue and religion) as the waters cover the seas; that 
God's law should be put into men's inward parts, and written in their hearts ; 
and that God's people should be all righteous, &c. &c. 

A very great part of the prophecies of the Old Testament is taken up in such 
predictions as these. And here I would observe, that the prophecies of the uni- 
versal prevalence of the kingdom of the Messiah, and true religion of Jesus 
Christ, are delivered in the most peremptory manner, and confirmed by the oath 
of God, Isa. xlv. 22 to the end, "Look to me and be ye saved, all the ends of 
the earth ; for I am God, and there is none else* I have sworn by myself, the 
word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto 
Me every knee shall bow ; and every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one 
say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength ; even to Him shall men come," 
&c. But here this peremptory declaration, and great oath of the Most High, are 
delivered with such mighty solemnity, to things which God did not know, if he 
did not certainly foresee the volitions of moral agents. 

And all the predictions of Christ and his apostles, to the like purpose, must 
be without knowledge ; as those of our Saviour comparing the kingdom of God 
to a grain of mustard seed, growing exceeding great, from a small beginning ; 
and to leaven, hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened, &c. 
And the prophecies in the epistles concerning the restoration of the nation of the 
Jews to the true church of God, and the bringing in the fulness of the Gentiles; 
and the prophecies in all the Revelation concerning the glorious change in the 
moral state of the world of mankind, attending the destruction of Antichrist, the 
kingdoms of the world becoming the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ ; 


and its being granted to the church to be arrayed in that fine linen, white and 
clean, which is the righteousness of saints, &c. 

Corol. 1. Hence that great promise and oath of God to Abraham, Isaac and 
Jacob, so much celebrated in Scripture, both in the Old Testament and New, 
namely, That in their seed all the nations and families of the earth should be 
blessed, must have been made on uncertainties, if God does not certainly foreknow 
the volitions of moral agents. For the fulfilment of this promise consists in that 
success of Christ in the work of redemption, and that setting up of his spiritual 
kingdom over the nations of the world, which has been spoken of. Men are 
blessed in Christ no otherwise than as they are brought to acknowledge Him, 
trust in him, love and serve Him, as is represented and predicted in Psal. lxxii. 1 1, 
" All kings shall fall down before Him ; all nations shall serve Him."" With 
verse 17, " Men shall be blessed in Him ; all nations shall call Him blessed." 
This oath to Jacob and Abraham is fulfilled in subduing men's iniquities; as is im- 
plied in that of the prophet Micah, chap. vii. 19, 20. 

Corol. 2. Hence also it appears, that the first gospel promise that ever was 
made to mankind, that great prediction of the salvation of the Messiah, and His 
victory over Satan, made to our first parents, Gen. iii. 15, if there be no certain 
prescience of the volitions of moral agents, must have had no better foundation 
than conjecture. For Christ's victory over Satan consists in men's being saved 
from sin, and in the victory of virtue and holiness, over that vice and wicked- 
ness, which Satan, by his temptation has introduced, and wherein his kingdom 

6. If it be so, that God has not a prescience of the future actions of moral 
agents, it will follow, that the prophecies of Scripture in general are without 
foreknowledge. For Scripture prophecies, almost all of them, if not universally 
without any exception, are either predictions of the actings and behavior of moral 
agents, or of events depending on them, or some way connected with them ; 
judicial dispensations, judgments on men for their wickedness, or rewards of vir- 
tue and righteousness, remarkable manifestations of favor to the righteous or 
manifestations of sovereign mercy to sinners, forgiving their iniquities, and mag- 
nifying the riches of divine Grace ; or dispensations of Providence, in some 
respect or other, relating to the conduct of the subjects of God's moral government, 
wisely adapted thereto ; either providing for what should be in a future state of 
things, through the volitions and voluntary actions of moral agents, or consequent 
upon them, and regulated and ordered according to them. So that all events 
that are foretold, are either moral events, or other events which are connected 
with, and accommodated to moral events. 

That the predictions of Scripture in general must be without knowledge, if 
God does not foresee the volitions of men, will further appi if it be considered, 

that almost all events belonging to the future state of the w 'of kind, the 

changes and revolutions which come to pass in empires, kin .oms and nations, 
and all societies, depend innumerable ways on the acts of men's Wills: yea, on 
an innumerable multitude of millions of millions of volitions of mankind. Such 
is the state and course of things in the world of mankind, that one single event, 
which appears in itself exceeding inconsiderable, may, in the progress and series 
of things, occasion a succession of the greatest and most important and extensive 
events; causing the state of mankind to be vastly different from what it would 
otherwise have been, for all succeeding generations. 

For instance, the coming into existence of those particular men, who have 
been the great conquerors of the world, which, under God, have had the main 
hand in all the consequent state of the world, in all after ages ; such as Nebu- 


chadnezzar, Cyrus, Alexander, Pompey, Julius Caesar, &c, undoubtedly depended 
on many millions of acts of the Will, which followed, and were occasioned one 
by another, in their parents. And perhaps most of these volitions depended on 
millions of volitions of hundreds and thousands of others, their contemporaries ol 
the same generation ; and most of these on millions of millions of volitions of 
others in preceding generations. As we go back, still the number of volitions, 
which were some way the occasion of the event, multiply as the branches of a 
river, until they come at last, as it were, to an infinite number. This will not 
seem strange to any one who well considers the matter ; if we recollect what 
philosophers tell us of the innumerable multitudes of those things which are, as 
it were, the principia, or stamina vitce, concerned in generation ; the animalcula 
in semine masculo, and the ova in the womb of the female ; the impregnation, 
or animating of one of these in distinction from all the rest, must depend on things 
infinitely minute, relating to the time and circumstances of the act of the parents, 
the state of their bodies, &c, which must depend on innumerable foregoing cir- 
cumstances and occurrences ; which must depend, infinite ways, on foregoing 
acts of their Wills ; which are occasioned by innumerable things that happen in 
the course of their lives, in which their own, and their neighbor's behavior, must 
have a hand, an infinite number of ways. And as the volitions of others must 
be so many ways concerned in the conception and birth of such men ; so, no 
less, in their preservation, and circumstances of life, their particular determinations 
and actions, on which the great revolutions they were the occasions of, depended. 
As, for instance, when the conspirators in Persia, against the Magi, were consult- 
ing about a succession to the empire, it came into the mind of one of them, to 
propose, that he whose horse neighed first, when they came together the next 
morning, should be king. Now such a thing's coming into his mind, might de- 
pend on innumerable incidents, wherein the volitions of mankind had been con- 
cerned. But, in consequence of this accident, Darius, the son of Histaspes, was 
king. And if this had not been, probably his successor would not have been 
the same, and all the circumstances of the Persian empire might have been far 
otherwise. And then perhaps Alexander might never have conquered that em- 
pire. And then probably the circumstances of the world, in all succeeding ages, 
might have been vastly otherwise. I might further instance in many other 
occurrences ; such as those on which depended Alexander's preservation, in the 
many critical junctures of his life, wherein a small trifle would have turned the 
scale against him ; and the preservation and success of the Roman people, in the 
infancy of their kingdom and commonwealth, and afterwards ; which all the 
succeeding changes in their state, and the mighty revolutions that afterwards 
came to pass in the habitable world, depended upon. But these hints may be 
sufficient for every discerning considerate person, to convince him, that the whole 
state of the world of mankind, in all ages, and the very being of every person who 
has ever lived in it, in every age, since the times of the ancient prophets, has de- 
pended on more volitions, or acts of the Wills of men, than there are sands on 
the sea shore. 

And therefore, unless God does most exactly and perfectly foresee the future 
acts of men's Wills, all the predictions which he ever uttered concerning David, 
Hezekiah, Josiah, Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Alexander; concerning the four 
monarchies, and the revolutions in them ; and concerning all the wars, commo- 
tions, victories, prosperities and calamities, of any of the kingdoms, nations or 
communities of the world, have all been without knowledge. 

So that, according to this notion of God's not foreseeing the volitions and 
free actions of men, God could foresee nothing appertaining to the state of the 


world of mankind in future ages ; not so much as the being of one person that 
should live in it ; and could foreknow no events, but only such as He would 
bring to pass himself by the extraordinary interposition of his immediate power ; 
or things which should come to pass in the natural material world, by the laws 
of motion, and course of nature, wherein that is independent on the actions or 
works of mankind ; that is, as he might, like a very able mathematician and 
astronomer, with great exactness calculate the revolutions of the heavenly 
bodies, and the greater wheels of the machine of the external creation. 

And if we closely consider the matter, there will appear reason to convince us, 
that he could not, with any absolute certainty, foresee even these. As to the first, 
namely, things done by the immediate and extraordinary interposition of God's 
power, these cannot be foreseen, unless it can be foreseen when there shall be 
occasion for such extraordinary interposition. And that cannot be foreseen, 
unless the state of the moral world can be foreseen. For whenever God thus 
interposes, it is with regard to the state of the moral world, requiring such divine 
interposition. Thus God could not certainly foresee the universal deluge, the 
calling of Abraham, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the plagues on 
Egypt, and Israel's redemption out of it, the expelling the seven nations of 
Canaan, and the bringing Israel into that land ; for these all are represented as 
connected with things belonging to the state of the moral world. Nor can God 
foreknow the most proper and convenient time of the day of judgment and gen- 
eral conflagration ; for that chiefly depends on the course and state of things in 
the moral world. • 

Nor, secondly, can we on this supposition reasonably think, that God can 
certainly foresee what things shall come to pass, in the course of things, in the 
natural and material world, even those which, in an ordinary state of things, 
might be calculated by a good astronomer. For the moral world is the end of 
the natural world ; and the course of things in the former, is undoubtedly sub- 
ordinate to God's designs with respect to the latter. Therefore he has seen 
cause, from regard to the state of things in the moral world, extraordinarily to 
interpose, to interrupt and lay an arrest on the course of things in the natural 
world ; and even in the greater wheels of its motion ; even so as to stop the 
sun in its course. And unless he can foresee the volitions of men, and so know 
something of the future state of the moral world, he cannot know but that he 
may still have as great occasion to interpose in this manner, as ever he had ; 
nor can he foresee how, or when he shall have occasion thus to interpose. 

Corol. 1. It appears from the things which have been observed, that unless 
God foresees the volitions of moral agents, that cannot be true which is observed 
by the Apostle James, Acts xv. 18, " Known unto God are all his works from 
the beginning of the world." 

Corol. 2. It appears from what has been observed, that unless God fore- 
knows the volitions of moral agents, all the prophecies of Scripture have no 
better foundation than mere conjecture ; and that, in most instances, a conjecture 
which must have the utmost uncertainty ; depending on an innumerable, and, 
as it were, infinite multitude of volitions, which are all, even to God, uncertain 
events : however, these prophecies are delivered as absolute predictions, and 
very many of them in the most positive manner, with asseverations ; and some 
of them with the most solemn oaths. 

Corol. 3. It also follows, from what has been observed, that if this notion 
of God's ignorance of future volitions be true, in vain did Christ say (after 
uttering many great and important predictions, concerning God's moral king- 


dom, and things depending on men's moral actions), Matthew xxi\ 35, 
" Heaven and earth shall pass away ; but my word shall not pass away." 

Corol. 4. From the same notion of God's ignorance, it would follow, that 
m vain has God Himself often spoke of the predictions of his word, as evidences 
of his Foreknowledge ; and so as evidences of that which is his prerogative as 
GOD, and his peculiar glory, greatly distinguishing Him from all other beings; 
as in Isa. xli. 22 — 26, xliii. 9, 10, xliv. 8, xlv. 2 i, xlvi. 10, and xlviii. 14. 

Aug. II. If God does not foreknow the volitions of moral agents, then he did 
not foreknow the fall of man, nor of angels, and so could not foreknow the great 
things which are consequent on these events ; such as his sending his Son into 
the world to die for sinners, and all things pertaining to the great work of 
redemption ; all the things which were done for four thousand years before 
Christ came, to prepare the way for it ; and the incarnation, life, death, resur- 
rection and ascension of Christ ; and the setting Him at the head of the uni- 
verse, as King of heaven and earth, angels and men ; and the setting up his 
church and kingdom in this world, and appointing Him the Judge of the 
world ; and all that Satan should do in the world in opposition to the kingdom 
of Christ : and the great transactions of the day of judgment, that men and 
devils shall be the subjects of, and angels concerned in ; they are all what God 
was ignorant of before the fall. And if so, the following scriptures, and others 
like them, must be without any meaning, or contrary to truth. Eph. i. 4, 
" According as he hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world." 

1 Pet. i. 20, " Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world." 

2 Tim. i. 9, " Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling ; not 
according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was 
given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." So, Eph. iii. 11 (speaking 
of the wisdom of God in the work of redemption), " According to the eternal 
purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus." Tit. i. 2, " In hope of eternal 
life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began." Rom. viii. 
29, " W 7 hom he did foreknow, them he also did predestinate," &c. 1 Pet. i. 2, 
" Elect, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.'" 

If God did not foreknow the fall of man, nor the redemption by Jesus Christ, 
nor the volitions of man since the fall ; then he did not foreknow the saints in 
any sense ; neither as particular persons, nor as societies or nations ; either by 
election, or mere foresight of their virtue or good works ; or any foresight of 
any thing about them relating to their salvation ; or any benefit they have by 
Christ, or any manner of concern of theirs with a Redeemer. 

Arg. III. On the supposition of God's ignorance of the future volitions of 
free agents, it w^ill follow,*that God must in many cases truly repent what he 
has done, so as properly to wish he had done otherwise : by reason that the 
event of things, in those affairs which are most important, viz., the affairs of his 
:noral kingdom, being uncertain and contingent, often happens quite otherwise 
than he was aware beforehand. And there would be reason to understand, that 
in the most literal sense, in Gen. vi. 6, " It repented the Lord, that he had made 
man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." And that, 1 Sam. xv. 11, 
contrary to that, Numb, xxiii. 19, " God is not the Son of man, that He should 
repent." And, 1 Sam. xv. 29, " Also the strength of Israel will not lie, nor 
repent ; for He is not a man that he should repent." Yea, from this notion it 
would follow, that God is liable to repent and be grieved at his heart, in a 
literal sense, continually ; and is always exposed to an infinite number of real 
disappointments in his governing the world ; and to manifold, constant, great 


perplexity and vexation ; but this is not very consistent with his title of God 
over all, blessed forever more ; which represents Him as possessed of perfect, 
constant and uninterrupted tranquillity and felicity, as God over the universe, and 
in his management of the affairs of the world, as supreme and universal Ruler. 
See Rom. i. 25, ix. 5, 2 Cor. xi. 31, 1 Tim. vi. 15. 

Arg. IV. It will also follow from this notion, that as God is liable to be 
continually repenting what he has done ; so he must be exposed to be con- 
stantly changing his mind ahd intentions, as to his future conduct ; altering his 
measures, relinquishing his old designs, and forming new schemes and projec- 
tions. For his purposes, even as to the main parts of his scheme, namely, such 
as belong to the state of his moral kingdom, must be always liable to be broken, 
through want of foresight ; and he- must be continually putting his system to 
rights, as it gets out of order through the contingence of the actions of moral 
agents ; he must be a Being, who, instead of being absolutely immutable, must 
necessarily be the subject of infinitely the most numerous acts of repentance, 
and changes of intention, of any being whatsoever ; for this plain reason, that 
his vastly extensive charge comprehends an infinitely greater number of those 
tilings which are to him contingent and uncertain. In such a situation, he must 
have little else to do, but to mend broken links as well as he can, and be rectify- 
ing his disjointed frame and disordered movements ; in the best manner the case 
will allow. The Supreme Lord of all things must needs be under great and 
miserable disadvantages, in governing the world which he has made and has 
the care of, through his being utterly unable to find out things of chief import- 
ance, which, hereafter shall befall his system ; which, if he did but know, he 
might make seasonable provision for. In many cases, there may be very 
great necessity that he should make provision, in the manner of his ordering and 
disposing things, for some great events which are to happen, of vast and exten- 
sive influence, and endless consequence to the universe; which he may see 
afterwards, when it is too late, and may wish in vain that he had known before- 
hand, that he might have ordered his affairs accordingly. And it is in the 
power of man, on these principles, by his devices, purposes and actions, thus to 
disappoint God, break his measures, make Him continually to change his mind, 
subject him to vexation, and bring him into confusion. 

But how do these things consist with reason, or with the word of God ? 
Which represents, that all God's works, all that he has ever to do, the whole 
scheme and series of his operations, are from the beginning perfectly in his 
view ; and declares, that whatever devices and designs " are in the hearts of 
men, the counsel of the Lord is that which shall stand, and the thoughts of his 
heart to all generations," Prov. xix. 21, Psal. xxxiii. 10, 11, " And that which 
the Lord of Hosts hath purposed, none shall disannul," Isa. xiv. 27. And that 
he cannot be frustrated in one design or thought, Job xlii. 2. " And that which 
God doth, it shall be forever, that nothing can be put to it, or taken from it," 
Eccl. iii. 14. The stability and perpetuity of God's counsels are expressly 
spoken of as connected with the foreknowledge of God, Isa. xlvi. 10, " Declar- 
ing the end from the beginning, and from ancient times, the things that are not 
yet done ; saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." — And 
how are these things consistent with what the Scripture says of God's immuta- 
bility, which represents Him as " without variableness, or shadow of turning ;" 
and speaks of Him most particularly as unchangeable with regard to his pur- 
poses, Mai. iii. 6, "I am the Lord; I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob 
are not consumed," Exod. iii. 14, i am that i am, Job xxiii. 13, 14, " He is in 


one mind ; and who can turn Him ? And what his soul desireth, even that he 
doth : for he performeth the thing that is appointed for me." 

Arg. V. If this notion of God's ignorance of the future volitions of moral 
agents be thoroughly considered in its consequences, it will appear to follow from 
it, that God, after he had made the world, was liable to be wholly frustrated 
of his end in the creation of it; and so has been, in like manner, liable to be 
frustrated of his end in all the great works he hath wrought. It is manifest, 
the moral world is the end of the natural : the rest of the creation is but a house 
which God hath built, with furniture, for moral agents : and the good or bad 
state of the moral world depends on the improvement they make of their natural 
agency, and so depends on their volitions. And therefore, if these cannot be 
foreseen by God, because they are contingent, and subject to no kind of neces- 
sity, then the affairs of the moral world are liable to go wrong, to any assignable 
degree ; yea, liable to be utterly ruined. As on this scheme, it may well be 
supposed to be literally said, when mankind, by the abuse of their moral 
agency, became very corrupt before the flood, " that the Lord repented that he 
had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at his heart ;" so, when He 
made the universe, He did not know but that he might be so disappointed in it, 
that it might grieve Him at his heart that he had made it. It actually proved, 
that all mankind became sinful, and a very great part of the angels apostatized : 
and how could God know beforehand, that all of them would not ? And how 
could God know but that all mankind, notwithstanding means used to reclaim them, 
being still left to the freedom of their own Will, would continue in their apostasy, 
and grow worse and worse, as they of the old world before the flood did 1 

According to the scheme I am endeavoring to confute, neither the fall of 
men or angels, could be foreseen, and God must be greatly disappointed in these 
events ; and so the grand scheme and contrivance for our redemption, and de- 
stroying the works of the devil, by the Messiah, and all the great things God 
has done in the prosecution of these designs, must be only the fruits of his own 
disappointment, and contrivances of his to mend and patch up, as well as he 
could, his system, which originally was all very good, and perfectly beautiful ; 
but was marred, broken and confounded by the free Will of angels and men. 
And still he must be liable to be totally disappointed a second time : He could 
not know, that He should have his desired success, in the incarnation, life, death, 
resurrection and exaltation of his only begotten Son, and other great works 
accomplished to restore the state of things : He could not know, after all, 
whether there would actually be any tolerable measure of restoration ; for this 
depended on the free Will of man. There has been a general great apostasy 
of almost all the Christian world, to that which was worse than heathenism ; 
which continued for many ages. And how could God without foreseeing men's 
volitions, know whether ever Christendom would return from this apostasy ? And 
which way could He tell beforehand how soon it would begin ? The apostle 
says, it began to work in his time ; and how could it be known how far it 
would proceed in that age 1 Yea, how could it be known that the gospel, 
which was not effectual for the reformation of the Jews, would ever be effectual 
for the turning of the heathen nations from their heathen apostasy, which they 
had been confirmed in for so many ages? 

It is represented often in Scripture, that God, who made the world for 
Himself, and created it for his pleasure, would infallibly obtain his end in the 
creation, and in all his works ; that as all things are of Him, so would all be to 
Him ; and that in the final issue of things, it would appear that He is thefrsU 


and the last, Rev. xx. 6, " And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and 
Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." But these things 
are not consistent with God's being so liable to be disappointed in all his works, 
nor indeed with his failing of his end in any thing that he has undertaken or 


God's certain Foreknowledge of the future Volitions of moral Agents, inconsistent 
with such a Contingence of those Volitions as is without all Necessity. 

Having proved that God has a certain and infallible prescience of the act of 
the Will of moral agents, I come now, in the second place, to show the conse- 
quence ; to show how it follows from hence, that these events are necessary, 
with a Necessity of connection or consequence. 

The chief Arminian divines, so far as I have had opportunity to observe, 
deny this consequence ; and affirm, that if such Foreknowledge be allowed, it 
is no evidence of any Necessity of the event foreknown. Now I desire, that this 
matter may be particularly and thoroughly inquired into. I cannot but think 
that, on particular and full consideration, it may be perfectly determined, whether 
it be indeed so or not. 

In order to a proper consideration of this matter, I would observe the fol- 
lowing things. 

I. It is very evident, with regard to a thing whose existence is infallibly and 
indissolubly connected with something which already hath or has had existence, 
the existence of that thing is necessary. Here may be noted : 

1. I observed before, in explaining the nature of Necessity, that in things 
which are past, their past existence is now necessary : having already made 
sure of existence, it is too late for any possibility of alteration in that respect : 
it is now impossible that it should be otherwise than true, that that thing has 

2. If there be any such thing as a divine Foreknowledge of the volitions of 
free agents, that Foreknowledge, by the supposition, is a thing which already 
has, and long ago had, existence ; and so, now its existence is necessary ; it is 
now utterly impossible to be otherwise than that this Foreknowledge should be, 
or should have been. 

3. It is also very manifest, that those things which are indissolubly connected 
with other things that are necessary, are themselves necessary. As that pro- 
position whose truth is necessarily connected with another proposition, which is 
necessarily true, is itself necessarily true. To say otherwise, would be a con- 
tradiction : it would be in effect to say, that the connection was indissoluble, 
and yet was not so, but might be broken. If that, whose existence is indissolubly 
connected with something whose existence is now necessary, is itself not neces- 
sary, then it may possibly not exist, notwithstanding that indissoluble connection 
of its existence. — Whether the absurdity be not glaring, let the reader judge. 

4. It is no less evident, that if there be a full, certain, and infallible Fore- 
knowledge of the future existence of the volitions of moral agents, then there is 
a certain infallible and indissoluble connection between those events and that 
Foreknowledge ; and that therefore, by the preceding observations, those events 

Vol. II. 10 


are necessary events ; being infallibly and indissolubly connected with that* 
whose existence already is, and so is now necessary, and cannot but have been. 

To say the Foreknowledge is certain and infallible, and yet the connection 
of the event with that Foreknowledge is not indissoluble, but dissoluble and 
fallible, is very absurd. To affirm it, would be the same thing as to affirm that 
there is no necessary connection between a proposition's being infallibly known 
to be true, and its being true indeed. So that it is perfectly demonstrable, that 
if there be any infallible knowledge of future volitions, the event is necessary; 
or, in other words, that it is impossible but the event should come to pass. For 
if it be not impossible but that it may be otherwise, then it is not impossible but 
that the proposition which affirms its future coming to pass, may not now be 
true. But how absurd is that, on the supposition that there is now an infallible 
knowledge (i. e. knowledge which it is impossible should fail) that it is true. 
There is this absurdity in it, that it is not impossible but that there now should 
be no truth in that proposition which is now infallibly known to be true. 

II. That no future event can be certainly foreknown, whose existence is 
contingent, and without all necessity, may be proved thus ; it is impossible for 
a thing to be certainly known to any intellect without evidence. To suppose 
otherwise, implies a contradiction : because, for a thing to be certainly known 
to any understanding, is for it to be evident to that understanding : and for a 
thing to be evident to any understanding, is the same thing as for that understand- 
ing to see evidence of it : 'but no understanding, created or uncreated, can see 
evidence where there is none : for that is the same thing as to see that to be 
which is not. And therefore, if there be any truth which is absolutely without 
evidence, that truth is absolutely unknowable, insomuch that it implies a con- 
tradiction to suppose that it is known. 

But if there be any future event, whose existence is contingent, without all 
necessity, the future existence of the event is absolutely without evidence. If 
there be any evidence of it, it must be one of these two sorts, either self-evidence 
or proof; for there can be no other sort of evidence but one of these two : an 
evident thing must be either evident in itself or evident in something else ; that 
is, evident by connection with something else. But a future thing, whose ex- 
istence is without all necessity, can have neither of these sorts of evidence. It 
cannot be self-evident ; for if it be, it may be now known, by what is now to be 
seen in the thing itself; either its present existence, or the necessity of its nature : 
but both these are contrary to the supposition. It is supposed, both that the thing 
jnas no present existence to be seen, and also that it is not of such a nature as to be 
necessarily existent for the future : so that its future existence is not self- 
evident. And, secondly, neither is there any proof or evidence in any thing else, 
or evidence of connection with something else that is evident; for this is also 
contrary to the supposition. It is supposed, that there is now nothing existent, 
with which the future existence of the contingent event is connected. For such 
a connection destroys its contingence, and supposes necessity. Thus it is demon- 
strated, that there is in the nature of things absolutely no evidence at all of the 
future existence of that event, which is contingent, without all necessity (if any 
such event there be), neither self-evidence nor proof. And therefore the thing 
in reality is not evident ; and so cannot be seen to be evident, or, which is the 
same thing, cannot be known. 

Let us consider this in an example. Suppose that five thousand seven hun- 
dred and sixty years ago there was no other being but the Divine Being ; and 
then this world, or some particular body or spirit, all at once starts out of nothing 
into being, and takes on itself a particular nature and form ; all in absolute 


contingence, without any concern of God, or any other cause, in the matter ; 
without any manner of ground or reason of its existence ; or any dependence 
upon, or connection at all with, any thing foregoing : I say, that if this be 
supposed, there was no evidence of that event beforehand. There was no 
evidence of it to be seen in the thing itself ; for the thing itself as yet was not. 
And there was no evidence of it to be seen in any thing else ; for evidence in 
something else, is connection with something else : but such connection is con- 
trary to the supposition. There was no evidence before, that this thing would 
happen ; for, by the supposition, there was no reason why it should happen, 
rather than something else, or rather than nothing. And if so, then all things 
before were exactly equal, and the same with respect to that and other possible 
things ; there was no preponderation,, no superior weight or value ; and there- 
fore nothing that could be of any weight or value to determine any understand- 
ing. The thing was absolutely without evidence, and absolutely unknowable- 
An increase of understanding, or of the capacity of discerning, has no tendency, 
and makes no advance, to a discerning any signs or evidences of it, let it be 
increased never so much ; yea, if it be increased infinitely. The increase of the 
strength of sight may have a tendency to enable to discern the evidence which 
is far off, and very much hid, and deeply involved in clouds and darkness ; but 
it has no tendency to enable to discern evidence where there is none. If the 
sight be infinitely strong, and the capacity of discerning infinitely great, it will 
enable to see all that there is, and to see it perfectly, and with ease : yet it has 
no tendency at all to enable a being to discern that evidence which is not ; but, 
on the contrary, it has a tendency to enable to discern with great certainty that 
there is none. 

III. To suppose the future volitions of moral agents not to be necessary 
events ; or, which is the same thing, events which it is not impossible but that 
they may not come to pass ; and yet to suppose that God certainly foreknows 
them, and knows all things, is to suppose God's knowledge to be inconsistent 
with itself. For to say, that God certainly, and without all conjecture, knows 
that a thing will infallibly be, which at the same time he knows to be so con- 
tingent that it may possibly not be, is to suppose his knowledge inconsistent with 
itself; or that one thing that he knows, is utterly inconsistent with another 
thing that he knows. It is the same thing as to say, he now knows a propo- 
sition to be of certain infallible truth, which he knows to be of contingent 
uncertain truth. If a future volition is so without all necessity, that there is 
nothing hinders but that it may not be, then the proposition which asserts its 
future existence, is so uncertain, that there is nothing hinders but that the truth 
of it may entirely fail. And if God knows all things, he knows this proposition 
to be thus uncertain. And that is inconsistent with his knowing that it is 
infallibly true, and so inconsistent with his infallibly knowing that it is true. If 
the thing be indeed contingent, God views it so, and judges it to be contingent, 
if he views things as they are. If the event be not necessary, then it is possible 
it may never be : and if it be possible it may never be, God knows it may 
possibly never be ; and that is to know that the proposition which affirms its 
existence, may possibly not be true ; and that is to know that the truth of it is 
uncertain ; which surely is inconsistent with his knowing it as a certain truth. 
If volitions are in themselves contingent events, without all necessity, then it is 
no argument of perfection of knowledge in any being to determine peremptorily 
that they will be ; but, on the contrary, an argument of ignorance and mistake, 
because it would argue, that he supposes that proposition to be certain, which 
in its own nature, and all things considered, is uncertain and contingent To 


say, in such a case, that God may have ways of knowing contingent events 
which we cannot conceive of, is ridiculous ; as much so, as to say that God may 
know contradictions to be true, for aught we know, or that he may know a 
thing to be certain, and at the same time know it not to be certain, though we 
cannot conceive how ; because he has ways of knowing, which we cannot 

Corol. 1. From what has been observed, it is evident that the absolute 
decrees of God are no more inconsistent with human liberty, on account of any 
necessity of the event which follows from such decrees, than the absolute Fore- 
knowledge of God. Because the connection between the event and certain 
Foreknowledge, is as infallible and indissoluble as between the event and an abso- 
lute decree. That is, it is no more impossible, that the event and decree should 
not agree together, than that the event and absolute knowledge should disagree. 
The connection between the event and Foreknowledge is absolutely perfect, by 
the supposition ; because it is supposed, that the certainty and infallibility of 
the knowledge is absolutely perfect. And it being so, the certainty cannot be 
increased ; and therefore the connection between the knowledge and the thing 
known, cannot be increased ; so that if a decree be added to the Foreknowledge, 
it does not at all increase the connection, or make it more infallible and indisso- 
luble. If it were not so, the certainty of knowledge might be increased by the 
addition of a decree ; which is contrary to the supposition, which is, that the 
knowledge is absolutely perfect, or perfect to the highest possible degree. 

There is as much of an impossibility but that the things which are infallibly 
foreknown should be, or (which is the same thing) as great a necessity of their 
future existence, as if the event were already written down, and was known 
and read by all mankind, through all preceding ages, and there was the most 
indissoluble and perfect connection possible between the writing and the thing 
written. In such a case, it would be as impossible the event should fail of ex- 
istence, as if it had existed already ; and a decree cannot make an event surer or 
more necessary than this. 

And therefore, if there be any such Foreknowledge, as it has been proved 
there is, then necessity of connection and consequence is not at all inconsistent 
with any liberty which man or any other creature enjoys. And from hence it 
may be inferred, that absolute decrees of God, which do not at all increase the 
necessity, are not at all inconsistent with the liberty which man enjoys, on any 
such account, as that they make the event decreed necessary and render it utterly 
impossible but that it should come to pass. Therefore, if absolute decrees are 
inconsistent with man's liberty as a moral agent, or his liberty in a state of pro- 
bation, or any liberty whatsoever that he enjoys, it is not on account of any 
necessity which absolute decrees infer. 

Dr. Whitby supposes that there is a great difference between God's Fore- 
knowledge, and his decrees, with regard to necessity of future events. In his 
" Discourse on the Five Points," p. 474, &c, he says, " God's prescience has 
no influence at all on our actions. — Should God, (says he,) by immediate revela- 
tion, give me the knowledge of the event of any man's state or actions, would 
my knowledge of them have any influence upon his actions ? Surely none at 
all — our knowledge doth not effect the things we know, to make them more 
certain, or more future, than they would be without it. Now, Foreknowledge 
in God is knowledge. As therefore knowledge has no influence on things that 
are, so neither has Foreknowledge on things that shall be. And, consequently, 
the Foreknowledge of any action that would be otherwise free, cannot alter or 
diminish that freedom. Whereas God's decree of election is powerful and 


active, and comprehends the preparation and exhibition of such means as shall 
unfrustrably produce the end. Hence God's prescience renders no actions 
necessary." And to this purpose, p. 473, he cites Origen, where he says, 
" God's prescience is not the cause of things future, but their being future is the 
cause of God's prescience that they will be :" and Le Blanc, where he says, 
* This is the truest resolution of this difficulty, that prescience is not the cause 
that things are future ; but their being future is the cause they are foreseen." 
In like manner, Dr. Clark, in his " Demonstration of the Being and Attributes 
of God," pp. 95—99. And the author of the " Freedom of Will in God and 
the Creature," speaking to the like purpose with Dr. Whitby, represents 
'' Foreknowledge as having no more influence on things known, to make them 
necessary, than afterknowledge," or to that purpose. 

To all which I would say, that what is said about knowledge, its not having 
influence on the thing known to make it necessary, is nothing to the purpose, 
nor does it in the least affect the foregoing reasoning. Whether prescience be 
the thing that makes the event necessary or no, it alters not the case. Infallible 
Foreknowledge may 'prove the Necessity of the event foreknown, and yet not be 
the thing which causes the Necessity. If the Foreknowledge be absolute, this 
proves the event known to be necessary, or proves that it is impossible but that 
the event should be, by some means or other, either by a decree, or some other 
way, if there be any other way ; because, as was said before, it is absurd to say, 
that a proposition is known to be certainly and infallibly true, which yet may 
possibly prove not true. 

The whole of the seeming force of this evasion lies in this ; that, inasmuch 
as certain Foreknowledge does not cause an event to be necessary, as a decree 
does ; therefore it does not prove it to be necessary, as a decree does. But there 
is no force in this arguing : for it is built wholly on this supposition, that nothing 
can prove, or be an evidence of a thing's being necessary, but that which has a 
causal influence to make it so. But this can never be maintained. If certain 
Foreknowledge of the future existing of an event, be not the thing which first 
makes it impossible that it should fail of existence ; yet it may, and certainly 
does, demonstrate that it is impossible it should fail of it, however that impossi- 
bility comes. If Foreknowledge be not the cause, but the effect, of this impos- 
sibility, it may prove that there is such an impossibility, as much as if it were 
the cause. It is as strong arguing from the effect to the cause, as from the 
cause to the effect. It is enough, that an existence, which is infallibly fore- 
known, cannot fail, whether that impossibility arise from the Foreknowledge, 
or is prior to it. It is as evident, as it is possible any thing should be, that it is 
impossible a thing which is infallibly known to be true, should prove not to be 
true : therefore there is a Necessity connected with such knowledge ; whether 
the knowledge be the cause of this Necessity, or the Necessity the cause of the 

All certain knowledge, whether it be Foreknowledge or afterknowledge, 
or concomitant knowledge, proves the thing known now to be necessary, by 
some means or other ; or proves that it is impossible it should now be other- 
wise than true. I freely allow that Foreknowledge does not prove a thing to 
be necessary any more than afterknowledge : but then afterknowledge, which is 
certain and infallible, proves that it is now become impossible but that the pro- 
position known should be true. Certain afterknowledge, proves that it is now, 
in the time of the knowledge, by some means or other, become impossible but 
that the proposition, which predicates past existence on the event, should be 
true. And so does certain Foreknowledge prove, that now, in the time of the 


knowledge, it is, by some means or other, become impossible but that the pro- 
position, which predicates future existence on the event, should be true. The 
Necessity of the truth of the propositions, consisting in the present impossibility 
of the nonexistence of the event affirmed, in both cases, is the immediate ground 
of the certainty of the knowledge ; there can be no certainty of knowledge 
without it. 

There must be a certainty in things themselves, before they are certainly 
known, or (which is the same thing) known to be certain. For certainty of 
knowledge is nothing else but knowing or discerning the certainty there is in 
the things themselves, which are known. Therefore there must be a certainty 
in things to be a ground of certainty of knowledge, and to render things capa- 
ble of being known to be certain. — And this is nothing but the Necessity of 
the truth known, or its being impossible but that it should be true ; or, in other 
words, the firm and infallible connection between the subject and predicate of 
the proposition that contains that truth. All certainty of knowledge consists 
in the view of the firmness of that connection. So God's certain Foreknow- 
ledge of the future existence of any event, is his view of the firm and indissolu- 
ble connection of the subject and predicate of the proposition that affirms its fu- 
ture existence. The subject is that possible event ; the predicate is its future 
existing : ' but if future existence be firmly and indissolubly connected with that 
event, then the future existence of that event is necessary. If God certainly 
knows the future existence of an event which is wholly contingent, and may 
possibly never be, then He sees a firm connection between a subject and predi- 
cate that are not firmly connected ; which is a contradiction. 

I allow what Dr. Whitby says to be true, That mere knowledge does not 
affect the thing known, to make it more certain or more future. But yet, I 
say, it supposes and proves the thing to be already, both future and certain ; 
i. e. necessarily future. Knowledge of futurity, supposes futurity ; and a cer- 
tain knowledge of futurity, supposes certain futurity, antecedent to that certain 
knowledge. But there is no other certain futurity of a thing, antecedent to cer- 
tainty of knowledge, than a prior impossibility but that the thing should prove 
true ; or (which is the same thing) the Necessity of the event. 

I would observe one thing further concerning this matter ; it is this ; that 
if it be as those forementioned writers suppose, that God's Foreknowledge is 
not the cause, but the effect of the existence of the event foreknown ; this is so 
far from showing that this Foreknowledge doth not infer the Necessity of the 
existence of that event, that it rather shows the contrary the more plainly. Be- 
cause it shows the existence of the event to be so settled and firm, that it is as 
if it had already been ; inasmuch as in effect it actually exists already ; its fu- 
ture existence has already had actual influence, and efficiency, and has pro- 
duced an effect, viz., Prescience : the effect exists already ; and as the effect 
supposes the cause, is connected with the cause, and depends entirely upon it, 
therefore it is as if the future event, which is the cause, had existed already. 
The effect is as firm as possible, it having already the possession of existence, 
and made sure of it. But the effect cannot be more firm and stable than its cause, 
ground and reason. The building cannot be firmer than the foundation. 

To illustrate this matter, let us suppose the appearances and images of 
things in a glass; for instance, a reflecting telescope to be the real effects 
of heavenly bodies (at a distance, and out of sight) which they resemble: if 
it be so, then as these images in the telescope have had a past actual existence, 
and it is become utterly impossible now that it should be otherwise than 
that they have existed ; so they, being the true effects of the heavenly bodies 


they resemble, this proves the existing of those heavenly bodies to be as 
real, infallible, firm and necessary, as the existing of these effects ; the one 
being connected with, and wholly depending on the other. Now let us sup- 
pose future existences some way or other to have influence back, to produce 
effects beforehand, and cause exact and perfect images of themselves in a glass, 
a thousand years before they exist, yea, in all preceding ages ; but yet that 
these images are real effects of these future existences, perfectly dependent 
on, and connected with them as their cause ; these effects and images, having 
already had actual existence, rendering that matter of their existing perfectly 
firm and stable, and utterly impossible to be otherwise ; this proves in like 
manner, as in the other instance, that the existence of the things, which are 
their causes, is also equally sure, firm and necessary ; and that it is alike im- 
possible but that they should be, as if they had been already, as their effects 
have. And if, instead of images in a glass, we suppose the antecedent effects 
to be perfect ideas of them in the Divine Mind, which have existed there 
from all eternity, which are as properly effects, as truly and properly connect- 
ed with their cause, the case is not altered. 

Another thing which has been said by some Arminians to take off the 
force of what is urged from God's Prescience, against the contingence of the 
volitions of moral agents, is to this purpose : " That when we talk of Fore- 
knowledge in God, there is no strict propriety in our so speaking ; and that 
although it be true, that there is in God the most perfect knowledge of all events 
from eternity to eternity, yet there is no such thing as before and after in God, 
but he sees all things by one perfect unchangeable view, without any succession." 

To this I answer, 

1. It has been already shown, that all certain knowledge proves the Ne- 
cessity of the truth known ; whether it be before, after, or at the same time. 
Though it be true, that there is no succession in God's knowledge, and the 
manner of his knowledge is to us inconceivable, yet thus much we know con- 
cerning it, that there is no event, past, present, or to come, that God is ever 
uncertain of: he never is, never was, and never will be without infallible 
knowledge of it : he always sees the existence of it to be certain and infallible. 
And as he always sees things just as they are in truth ; hence there never is in 
reality any thing contingent in such a sense, as that possibly it may happen 
never to exist. If, strictly speaking, there is no Foreknowledge in God, it is 
because those things, which are future to us, are as present to God, as if they 
already had existence : and that is as much as to say, that future events are 
always in God's view as evident, clear, and necessary, as if they already were. 
If there never is a time wherein the existence of the event is not present with 
God, then there never is a time wherein it is not as much impossible for it to 
fail of existence, as if its existence were present, and were already come to pass. 

God's viewing things so perfectly and unchangeably as that there is no 
succession in his ideas or judgment does not hinder but that there is properly 
now, in the mind of God, a certain and perfect knowledge of moral actions of 
men, which to us are a hundred years hence : yea the objection supposes this , 
and therefore it certainly does not hinder but that, by the foregoing arguments, 
it is now impossible these moral actions should not come to pass. 

We know, that God knows the future voluntary actions of men in such a 
sense beforehand, as that he is able particularly to declare, and foretell them, 
and write them, or cause them to be written down in a book, as He often has 
done; and that therefore the necessary connection which there is between 
God's knowledge and the event known, does as much prove the event to be 


necessary beforehand, as if the Divine Knowledge were in the same sense be- 
fore the event, as the prediction or writing is. If the knowledge be infallible, 
then the expression of it in the written prediction is infallible ; that is, there is 
an infallible connection between that written prediction and the event. And if 
so, then it is impossible it should ever be otherwise, than that that prediction 
and the event should agree : and this is the same thing as to say, it is impossi- 
ble but that the event should come to pass : and this is the same as to say that 
its coming to pass is necessary. — So that it is manifest, that there being no 
proper succession in God's mind, makes no alteration as to the Necessity of the 
existence of the events which God knows. Yea, 

2. This is so far from weakening the proof, which has been given of 
the impossibility of the not coming to pass of future events known, as that it 
establishes that, wherein the strength of the foregoing arguments consists, 
and shows the clearness of the evidence. For, 

(1.) The very reason why God's knowledge is without succession, is 
because it is absolutely perfect, to the highest possible degree of clearness 
and certainty : all things, whether past, present, or to come, being viewed 
with equal evidence and fulness; future things being seen with as much 
clearness, as if they were present ; the view is always in absolute perfection ; 
and absolute constant perfection admits of no alteration, and so no succession ; 
the actual existence of the thing known, does not at all increase, or add to 
the clearness or certainty of the thing known: God calls the things that 
are not as though they were ; they are all one to him as if they had al 
ready existed. But herein consists the strength of the demonstration before 
given, of the impossibility of the not existing of those things, whose existence 
God knows; that it is as impossible they should fail of existence, as if they 
existed already. This objection, instead of weakening this argument, sets it 
in the clearest and strongest light; for it supposes it to be so indeed, that 
the existence of future events is in God's view so much as if it already had 
been, that when they come actually to exist, it makes not the least altera- 
tion or variation in his view or knowledge of them. 

(2.) The objection is founded on the immutability of God's knowledge : 
for it is the immutability of knowledge which makes his knowledge to be with- 
out succession. But this most directly and plainly demonstrates the thing I in- 
sist on, viz., that it is utterly impossible the known events should fail of exist- 
ence. For if that were possible, then it would be possible for there to be a 
change in God's knowledge and view of things. For if the known event should 
fail of existence, and not come into being as God expected, then God would 
see it, and so would change his mind, and see his former mistake ; and thus 
there would be change and succession in his knowledge. But as God is immu- 
table, and so it is utterly impossible that his view should be changed ; so it is, for 
the same reason, just so impossible that the foreknown event should not exist : and 
that is to be impossible in the highest degree : and therefore the contrary is ne- 
cessary. Nothing is more impossible than that the immutable God should be 
changed, by the succession of time ; who comprehends all things, from eternity 
to eternity, in one, most perfect, and unalterable view ; so that his whole eter- 
nal duration is vitce interminabilis, tota, simul, et perfecta possessio. 

On the whole, I need not fear to say, that there is no geometrical theorem 
or proposition whatsoever, more capable of strict demonstration, than that God'a 
certain prescience of the volitions of moral agents is inconsistent with such a con- 
tingence of these events, as is without all Necessity ; and so is inconsistent with 
the Arminian notion of liberty. 


Corol. 2. Hence the doctrine of the Calvinists, concerning the absolute 
decrees of God, does not at all infer any more fatality in things, than will 
demonstrably follow from the doctrine of most Jirminian divines, who ac- 
knowledge God's omniscience, and universal prescience. Therefore all objec- 
tions they make against the doctrine of the Calvinists, as implying Hobbes' 
doctrine of Necessity, or the stoical doctrine of fate, lie no more against the 
doctrine of Calvinists, than their own doctrine : and therefore it doth not be- 
come those divines, to raise such an outcry against the Calvinists, on this 

Corol. 3. Hence all arguing from Necessity, against the doctrine of the 
inability of unregenerate men to perform the conditions of salvation, and the 
commands of God requiring spiritual duties, and against the Calvinistic doc- 
trine of efficacious grace ; I say, all arguings of Jirminians (such of them 
as own God's omniscience) against these things, on this ground, that these doc- 
trines, though they do not suppose men to be under any constraint or coaction, 
yet suppose them under Necessity, with respect to their moral actions, and those 
things which are required of them in order to their acceptance with God ; and 
their arguing against the Necessity of men's volitions, taken from the reasona- 
bleness of God's commands, promises, and threatenings, and the sincerity of 
his counsels and invitations ; and all objections against any doctrines of the 
Calvinists as being inconsistent with human liberty, because they infer Ne- 
cessity ; I say, all these arguments and objections must fall to the ground, 
and be justly esteemed vain and frivolous, as coming from them ; being main- 
tained in an inconsistence with themselves, and in like manner levelled against 
their own doctrine, as against the doctrine of the Calvinists. 


Whether we suppose the volitions of moral agents to be connected with any thing 
antecedent, or not, yet they must be necessary in such a sense as to overthrow Ar- 
minian Liberty. 

Every act of the Will has a cause, or it has not. If it has a cause, then, 
according to what has already been demonstrated, it is not contingent, but ne- 
cessary ; the effect being necessarily dependent and consequent on its cause ; 
and that let the cause be what it will. If the cause is the Will itself, by ante- 
cedent acts choosing and determining ; still the determined and caused act 
must be a necessary effect. The act, that is the determined effect of the fore- 
going act which is its cause, cannot prevent the efficiency of its cause ; but 
must be wholly subject to its determination and command, as much as the mo- 
tions of the hands and feet. The consequent commanded acts of the Will are 
as passive and as necessary, with respect to the antecedent determining acts as 
the parts of the body are to the volitions which determine and command them. 
And therefore if all the free acts of the Will are thus, if they are all determin- 
ed effects, determined by the Will itself, that is, determined by antecedent 
choice, then they are all necessary ; they are all subject to, and decisively fixed 
by the foregoing act, which is their cause : yea, even the determining act itself; 
for that must be determined and fixed by another act, preceding that, if it be a 
free and voluntary act ; and so must be necessary. So that by this all the free 
acts of the Will are necessary, and cannot be free unless they are necessary • 

Vol. II. 11 


because they cannot be free, according to the Arminian notion of freedom, 
unless they are determined by the Will ; which is to be determined by antece- 
dent choice ; which being their cause, proves them necessary. And yet they 
say, Necessity is utterly inconsistent with Liberty. So that, by their scheme, 
the acts of the Will cannot be free unless they are necessary, and yet cannot 
be free if they be necessary ! 

But if the other part of the dilemma be taken, and it be affirmed that the 
free acts of the Will have no cause, and are connected with nothing whatsoever 
that goes before them and determines them, in order to maintain their proper 
and absolute contingence, and this should be allowed to be possible ; still it 
will not serve their turn. For if the volition come to pass by perfect contin- 
gence, and without any cause at all, then it is certain, no act of the Will, no 
prior act of the soul was the cause, no determination or choice of the soul, had 
any hand in it. The Will, or the soul, was indeed the subject of what happen- 
ed to it accidentally, but was not the cause. The Will is not active in causing 
or determining, but purely the passive subject ; at least, according to their no- 
tion of action and passion. In this case, contingence does as much prevent 
the determination of the Will, as a proper cause ; and as to the Will, it was 
necessary, and could be no otherwise. For to suppose that it could have 
been otherwise, if the Will or soul had pleased, is to suppose that the 
act is dependent on some prior act of choice or pleasure ; contrary to 
what is now supposed : it is to suppose that it might have been otherwise, 
if its cause had made it or ordered it otherwise. But this does not agree to its 
having no cause or orderer at all. That must be necessary as to~ the soul, 
which is dependent on no free act of the soul : but that which is without a 
cause, is dependent on no free act of the soul : because, by the supposition, it 
is dependent on nothing, and is connected with nothing. In such a case, the 
soul is necessarily subjected to what accident brings to pass, from time to time, 
as much as the earth, that is inactive, is necessarily subjected to what falls 
upon it. But this does not consist with the Arminian notion of Liberty, which 
is the Will's power of determining itself in its own acts, and being wholly ac- 
tive in it, without passiveness, and without being subject to Necessity. — Thus 
Contingence belongs to the Arminian notion of Liberty, and yet is inconsistent 
with it. 

I would here observe, that the author of the Essay on the Freedom of Will, 
in God and the Creature, page 76, 77, says as follows : " The word Chance 
always means something done without design. Chance and design stand in 
direct opposition to each other : and chance can never be properly applied to 
acts of the will, which is the spring of all design, and which designs to choose 
whatsoever it doth choose, whether there be any superior fitness in the thing 
which it chooses, or no ; and it designs to determine itself to one thing, where 
two things, perfectly equal, are proposed, merely because it will." But herein 
appears a very great inadvertence in this author. For, if the Will be the spring 
of all design, as he says, then certainly it is not always the effect of design ; 
and the acts of the Will themselves must sometimes come to pass, when they 
do not spring from design ; and consequently come to pass by chance, accord- 
ing to his own definition of chance. And if the Will designs to choose whatsoever 
it does choose, and designs to determine itself, as he says, then it designs to de- 
termine all its designs. Which carries us back from one design to a foregoing 
design determining that, and to another determining that ; and so on in infini- 
tum. The very first design must be the effect of foregoing design, or else it 
must be by chance, in his notion of it 


Here another alternative may be proposed, relating to the connection of the 
acts of the Will with something foregoing that is their cause, not much unlike 
to the other ; which is this ; either human liberty is such, that it may well 
stand with volitions being necessarily connected with the views of the under- 
standing, and so is consistent with Necessity ; or it is inconsistent with, and 
contrary to, such a connection and Necessity. The former is directly subversive 
of the Arminian notion of liberty, consisting in freedom from all Necessity. 
And if the latter be chosen, and it be said that liberty is inconsistent with any 
such necessary connection of volition with foregoing views of the understanding, 
it consisting m freedom from any such Necessity of the Will as that would im- 
ply ; then the liberty of the soul consists (in part at least) in freedom from re- 
straint, limitation and government, in its actings, by the understanding, and in 
liberty and liableness to act contrary to the understanding's views and dictates ; 
and consequently the more the soul has of this disengagedness, in its acting, the 
more liberty. Now let it be considered what this brings the noble principle of 
human liberty to, particularly when it is possessed and enjoyed in its perfection, 
viz., a full and perfect freedom and liableness to act altogether at random, with- 
out the least connection with, or restraint or government by, any dictate of rea- 
son, or any thing whatsoever apprehended, considered or viewed by the under- 
standing ; as being inconsistent with the full and perfect sovereignty of the 
Will over its own determinations. The notion mankind have conceived of 
liberty, is some> dignity or privilege, something worth claiming., But what 
dignity or privilege is there, in being given up to such a wild contingence as 
this, to be perfectly and constantly liable to act unintelligently and unreasona- 
bly, and as much without the guidance of understanding, as if we had none, or 
were as destitute of perception, as the smoke that is driven by the wind ! 




God's Moral Excellency necessary, yet virtuous and praiseworthy. 

Having considered the fast thing that was proposed to be inquired into, 
relating to that freedom of Will which Arminians maintain ; namely, Whether 
any such thing does, ever did, or ever can exist, or be conceived of; I come 
now to the second thing proposed to be the subject of inquiry, viz., Whether any 
such kind of liberty be requisite to moral agency, virtue and vice, praise and 
blame, reward and punishment, &c. 

I shall begin with some consideration of the virtue and agency of the 
Supreme moral agent, and fountain of all agency and virtue. 

Dr. Whitby, in his discourses on the Five Points, p. 14, says, " If all human 
actions are necessary, virtue and vice must be empty names ; we being capable 
of nothing that is blameworthy, or deserveth praise ; for who can blame a person 


for doing only what he could not help, or judge that he deserveth praise only 
for what he could not avoid V 9 To the like purpose he speaks in places innu- 
merable ; especially in his discourse on the Freedom of the Will ; constantly 
maintaining, that a freedom not only from coaction, but necessity, is absolutely 
requisite, in order to actions being either worthy of blame, or deserving of praise. 
And to this agrees, as is well known, the current doctrine of Arminian writers, 
who, in general, hold, that there is no virtue or vice, reward or punishment, 
nothing to be commended or blamed, without this freedom. And yet Dr 
Whitby, p. 300, allows, that God is without this freedom ; and Arminians, so 
far as I have had opportunity to observe, generally acknowledge that God is 
* necessarily holy, and his Will necessarily determined to that which is good. 

So that putting these things together, the infinitely holy God, who used 
always to be esteemed by God's people not only virtuous, but a Being in whom 
is all possible virtue, and every virtue in the most absolute purity and perfection, 
and in infinitely greater brightness and amiableness than in any creature ; the 
most perfect pattern of virtue, and the fountain from whom all others' virtue is 
as beams from the sun ; and who has been supposed to be, on the account of 
his virtue and holiness, infinitely more worthy to be esteemed, loved, honored, 
admired, commended, extolled and praised, than any creature : and He, who is 
thus everywhere represented in Scripture ; I say, this Being, according to this 
notion of Dr. Whitby, and other Arminians, has no virtue at all : virtue, when 
ascribed to him, is but an empty name j and he is deserving of no commenda- 
tion or praise : because he is under necessity. He cannot avoid being holy 
and good as he is ; therefore no thanks to him for it. It seems, the holiness, 
justice, faithfulness, &c, of the Most High, must not be accounted to be of the 
nature of that which is virtuous and praiseworthy. They will not deny, that 
these things in God are good ; but then we must understand them, that they are 
no more virtuous, or of the nature of any thing commendable, than the good 
that is in any other being that is not a moral agent ; as the brightness of the 
sun, and the fertility of the earth, are good, but not virtuous, because these 
properties are necessary to these bodies, and not the fruit of self-determining 

There needs no other confutation of this notion of God's not being virtuous 
or praiseworthy, to Christians acquainted with the Bible, but only stating and 
particularly representing it. To bring texts of Scripture, wherein God is 
represented as in every respect, in the highest manner virtuous, and supremely 
praiseworthy, would be endless, and is altogether needless to such as have been 
Drought up in the light of the gospel. 

It were to be wished, that Dr. Whitby, and other divines of the same sort, 
had explained themselves, when they have asserted, that that which is necessary, 
is not deserving of praise ; at the same time that they have owned God's per- 
fection to be necessary, and so in effect representing God as not deserving praise. 
Certainly, if their words have any meaning at all, by praise, they must mean 
the exercise or testimony of some sort of esteem, respect and honorable regard. 
And will they then say, that men are worthy of that esteem, respect and honor 
for their virtue, small and imperfect as it is, which yet God is not worthy of, for 
his infinite righteousness, holiness and goodness ? If so, it must be, because of 
some sort of peculiar excellency in the virtuous man, which is his prerogative, 
wherein he really has the preference ; some dignity, that is entirely distinguished 
from any excellency, amiableness, or honorableness in God : not in imperfection 
and dependence, but in pre-eminence : which therefore he does not receive from 
God, nor is God the fountain or pattern of it ; nor can God, in that respect, stand 


in competition with him, as the object of honor and regard ; but man may claim 
a peculiar esteem, commendation and glory, that God can have no pretension 
to. Yea, God has no right, by virtue of his necessary holiness, to intermeddle 
with that grateful respect and praise due to the virtuous man, who chooses 
virtue, in the exercise of a freedom ad utrumque ; any more than a precious 
stone, which cannot avoid being hard and beautiful. 

And if it be so, let it be explained what that peculiar respect is, that is due 
to the virtuous man, which differs in nature and kind, in some way of pre-emi- 
nence from all that is due to God. What is the name or description of that 
peculiar affection 1 Is it esteem, love, admiration, honor, praise or gratitude 1 
The Scripture everywhere represents God as the highest object of all these : 
there we read of the soul's magnifying the Lord, of loving Him with all the 
heart, with all the soul, with all the mind, and with all the strength ; admiring 
Him, and his righteous acts, or greatly regarding them, as marvellous and won- 
derful; honoring, glorifying, exalting, extolling, blessing, thanking and praising 
Him ; giving unto Him all the glory of the good which is done or received, 
rather than unto men; that no flesh should glory in his presence; but that He 
should be regarded as the Being to whom all glory is due. What then is that 
respect ? What passion, affection or exercise is it, that Arminians call praise, 
diverse from all these things, which men are worthy of for their virtue, and which 
God is not worthy of, in any degree ? 

If that necessity which attends God's moral perfections and actions, be as 
inconsistent with a being worthy of praise as a necessity of coaction ; as is plainly 
implied in, or inferred from Dr. Whitby's discourse ; then why should we thank 
God for his goodness, any more than if he were forced to be good, or any more 
than we should thank one of our fellow creatures who did us good, not freely, 
and of good will, or from any kindness of heart, but from mere compulsion,, or 
extrinsical necessity 1 Arminians suppose, that God is necessarily a good and 
gracious Being : for this they make the ground of some of their main arguments 
against many doctrines maintained by Calvinists ; they say, these are certainly 
false, and it is impossible they should be true, because they are not consist- 
ent with the goodness of God. This supposes, that it is impossible but that God 
should be good : for if it be possible that he should be otherwise, then that 
impossibility of the truth of these doctrines ceases, according to their own 

That virtue in God is not, in the most proper sense, rewardable, is not for 
want of merit in his moral perfections and actions, sufficient to deserve rewards 
from his creatures ; but because he is infinitely above all capacity of. receiving 
any reward or benefit from the creature : He is already infinitely and unchangea- 
bly happy, and we cannot be profitable unto him. But still he is worthy of our 
supreme benevolence for his virtue ; and would be worthy of our beneficence, 
which is the fruit and expression of benevolence, if our goodness could extend 
to him. If God deserves to be thanked and praised for his goodness, he would, 
for the same reason, deserve that we should also requite his kindness, if that 
wefe possible. What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits ? is the 
natural language of thankfulness ; and so far as in us lies, it is our duty to 
recompense God's goodness, and render again according to benefits received. 
And that we might have opportunity for so natural an expression of our gratitude 
to God, as beneficence, notwithstanding his being infinitely above our reach : 
He has appointed others to be his receivers, and to stand in his stead, as the 
objects of our beneficence ; such are especially our indigent brethren. 



The Acts of the Will of the human Soul of Jesus Christ necessarily holy, yet truly 
virtuous, praiseworthy, rewardable, &c. 

I have already considered how Dr. Whitby insists upon it, that a freedom, 
not only from coaction, but necessity, is requisite either to virtue or vice, praise 
or dispraise, reward or 'punishment. He also insists on the same freedom as 
absolutely requisite to a person's being the subject of a law, of precepts or 
prohibitions ; in the book before mentioned, (p. 301, 314, 328, 339, 340, 341, 
342, 347, 361, 373, 410.) And of promises and threatenings, (p. 298, 301, 
305, 311, 339, 340, 363.) And as requisite to a state of trial, (p. 297, &c.) 

Now therefore, with an eye to these things, I would inquire into the moral 
conduct and practice of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he exhibited in his human 
nature here, in his state of humiliation. And first, I would show, that his holy 
behavior was necessary ; or that it was impossible it should be otherwise, than 
that he should behave himself holily, and that he should be perfectly holy in each 
individual act of his life. And secondly, that his holy behavior was properly 
of the nature of virtue and was worthy of prgise ; and that he was the subject 
of law, precepts or commands, promises and rewards ; and that he was in a state 
.of trial. 

I. It was impossible, that the acts of the Will of the human soul of Christ 
should, in any instance, degree or circumstance, be otherwise than holy, and 
agreeable to God's nature and will. The following things make this evident. 

1. God had promised so effectually to preserve and uphold Him by his Spirit, 
under all his temptations, that he could not fail of reaching the end for which he 
came into the world ; which he would have failed of, had he fallen into sin. 
We have such a promise, Isa. xlii. 1, 2, 3, 4, " Behold my Servant, whom I 
uphold ; mine Elect, in whom my soul delighteth : I have put my Spirit upon 
him : He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles : He shall not cry, nor lift 
up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. He shall bring forth judgment 
unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in 
the earth ; and the isles shall wait for his law." This promise of Christ's hav- 
ing God's Spirit put upon Him, and his not crying and lifting up his voice, &c, 
relates to the time of Christ's appearance on earth ; as is manifest from the nature 
of the promise, and also the application of it in the New Testament, Matthew 
xii. 18. And the words imply a promise of his being so upheld by God's Spirit, 
that he should be preserved from sin ; particularly from pride and vainglory, and 
from being overcome by any of the temptations he should be under to affect the 
glory of this world, the pomp of an earthly prince, or the applause and praise of 
men : and that he should be so upheld, that he should by no means fail of ob- 
taining the end of his coming into the world, of bringing forth judgment unto 
victory, and establishing his kingdom of grace in the earth. And in the follow- 
ing verses, this promise is confirmed, with the greatest imaginable solemnity. 
" Thus saith the Lokd, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out : He 
that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it : He that givetb 
breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein : I the Lord 
have called Thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand ; and will keep thee 
and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles, to opec 


the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in 
darkness out of the prison house. I am Jehovah, that is my name," &c. 

Very parallel with these promises is that, Isa. xlix. 7, 8, 9, which also has an 
apparent respect to the time of Christ's humiliation on earth. " Thus saith the 
Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, 
to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers ; kings shall see and 
arise, princes also shall worship ; because of the Lord that is faithful, and the 
Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose Thee. Thus saith the Lord, in an ac- 
ceptable time have 1 heard Thee ; in a day of salvation have I helped Thee ; 
and I will preserve Thee, and give Thee for a covenant of the people, to establish 
the earth," &c. 

And in Isa. 1. 5 — 9, we have the Messiah expressing his assurance, that God 
would help Him, by so opening his ear, or inclining his heart to God's com- 
mandments that He should not be rebellious, but should persevere, and not 
apostatize, or turn his back ; that through God's help, He should be immovable, 
in a way of obedience, under the great trials of reproach and suffering he should 
meet with ; setting his face like a flint : so that he knew, he should not be 
ashamed, or frustrated in his design, and finally should be approved and justified, 
as having done his work faithfully. " The Lord hath opened mine ear ; so that 
I was not rebellious, neither turned away my back : I gave my back to the 
smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair ; I hid not my face 
from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me ; therefore shall I not 
be confounded ; therefore have 1 set my face as a flint, and I know that I shall 
not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me : who will contend with me 1 
Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary 1 Let him come near to me. 
Behold the Lord God will help me ; who is he that shall condemn me ? Lo, 
they shall all wax old as a garment, the moth shall eat them up." 

2. The same thing is evident from all the promises which God made to the 
Messiah, of his future glory, kingdom and success, in his office and character of 
a Mediator : which glory could not have been obtained, if his holiness had failed, 
and he had been guilty of sin. God's absolute promise of any thing, makes the 
things promised necessary, and their failing to take place absolutely impossible : 
and, in like manner, it makes those things necessary, on which the things pro- 
mised depend, and without which they cannot take effect. Therefore it appears, 
that it was utterly impossible that Christ's holiness should fail, from such absolute 
promises as those, Psal. ex. 4, " The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, 
Thou art a Priest forever, after the order of Melchizedeck." And from every 
other promise in that psalm, contained in each verse of it. And Psal. ii. 7, 8, 
" I will declare the decree : the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this 
day have I begotten Thee : a&k of me, and I will give Thee the Heathen for thine 
inheritance, &c." Psal. xlv. 3, 4, &c, Gird thy sword on thy thigh, most 
Mighty, with thy Glory and thy Majesty ; and in thy Majesty ride prosperously." 
And so every thing that is said from thence to the end of the psalm. And those 
promises, Isa. lii. 13, 14, 15, and liii. 10, 11, 12. And all those promises which 
God makes to the Messiah, of success, dominion and glory in the character of 
Redeemer, in Isa. chap. xlix. 

3. It was often promised to the Church of God of old, for their comfort, that 
God would give them a righteous, sinless Saviour. Jer. xxiii. 5, 6, " Behold, 
the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise up unto David a righteous Branch; 
and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in 
the earth. In his days shall Judah be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely. And 
thib is the name whereby He shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness." So, 


Jer. xxxiii. 15, " I will cause the Branch of Righteousness to grow up unto 
David ; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land." Isa. ix. 
6, 7, " For unto us a child is born ; upon the throne of David and upon his 
kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and justice, from hence- 
forth, even forever : the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will do this." Chap. xi. at 
the beginning, " There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a 
branch shall grow out of his roots ; and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon 
him — the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord : — with righteousness 
shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity : — Righteousness shall be the 
girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins." Chap. lii. 13, " My 
servant shall deal prudently." Chap. liii. 9, " Because He had done no violence, 
neither was any deceit in his mouth." If it be impossible that these promises: 
should fail, and it be easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one 
jot or tittle of these promises of God to pass away, then it was impossible that 
Christ should commit any sin. Christ himself signified, that it was impossible 
but that the things which were spoken concerning Him, should be fulfilled. 
Luke xxiv. 44, " That all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the 
law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms concerning Me." " Matth. 
xxvi. 54, " But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be ?" 
Mark. xiv. 49, " But the Scriptures must be fulfilled." And so the apostle, 
Acts i. 16, " This Scripture must needs have been fulfilled." 

4. All the promises, which were made to the Church of old, of the Messiah as a 
future Saviour, from that made to our first parents in paradise, to that which was 
delivered by the prophet Malachi, show it to be impossible that Christ should 
not have persevered in perfect holiness. The ancient predictions given to God's 
church of the Messiah as a Saviour, were of the nature of promises ; as is evi- 
dent by the predictions themselves, and the manner of delivering them. But 
they are expressly, and very often called promises in the New Testament j as in 
Luke i. 54, 55, 72, 73, Acts xiii. 32, 33, Rom. i. 1, 2, 3, and chap. xv. 8, 
Heb. vi. 13, &c. These promises were often made with great solemnity, and 
confirmed with an oath ; as in Gen. xxii. 16, 17, 18, " By myself have I sworn, 
saith the Lord, that in blessing, I will bless thee, and in multiplying, I will mul- 
tiply thy seed, as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore. 
— And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." Compare Luke 
i. 72, 73, and Gal. iii. 8, 15, 16. The apostle in Heb. vi. 17, 18, speaking of 
this promise to Abraham, says, " Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show 
to the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath ; 
that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might 
have strong consolation." — In which words, the necessity of the accomplishment, 
or (which is the same thing) the impossibility of the contrary, is fully declared. 
So God confirmed the promise of the great salvation of the Messiah, made to 
David, by an oath ; Psal. lxxxix. 3, 4, " I have made a covenant with my 
chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant ; thy seed will I establish forever, 
and build up thy throne to all generations." There is nothing that is so abun- 
dantly set forth in Scripture, as sure and irrefragable, as this promise and oath to 
David. See Psalm lxxxix. 34, 35, 36, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5, Isa. lv. 3, Acts ii. 29, 
30, and xiii. 34. The Scripture expressly speaks of it as utterly impossible that 
this promise and oath to David, concerning the everlasting dominion of the Mes- 
siah of his seed, should fail. Jer. xxxiii. 15, &c, " In those days, and at that 
time, I will cause the Branch of Righteousness to grow up unto David. — For 
thus saith the Lord, David shall never want a Man to sit upon the throne of the 
House of Israel." Ver. 20, 21, "If you can break my covenant of the day, 


and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their 
season ; then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he 
should not have a son to reign upon his throne." So in verse 25, 26. — Thus 
abundant is the Scripture in representing how impossible it was, that the promises 
made of old concerning the great salvation and kingdom of the Messiah should 
fail ; which implies, that it was impossible that this Messiah, the second Adam, 
the promised seed of Abraham, and of David, should fall from his integrity, as the 
first Adam did. 

5. All the promises that were made to the church of God under the Old 
Testament, of the great enlargement of the church, and advancement of her 
glory, in the days of the gospel, after the coming of the Messiah ; the increase 
of her light, liberty, holiness, joy, triumph over her enemies, &c, of which so 
great a part of the 01$ Testament consists ; which are repeated so often, are so 
variously exhibited, so frequently introduced with great pomp and solemnity, and 
are so abundantly sealed with typical and symbolical representations : I say, all 
these promises imply, that the Messiah should perfect the work of redemption ; 
and this implies, that he should persevere in the work, which the Father had 
appointed him, being in all things conformed to his Will. These promises were 
often confirmed by an oath. (See Isa. liv. 9, with the context; chap. lxii. 8.) 
And it is represented as utterly impossible that these promises should fail. (Isa. 
xlix. 15, with the context ; chap. liv. 10, with the context ; chap. li. 4—8 ; 
chap. xl. 8, with the context.) And therefore it was impossible that the Mes- 
siah should fail, or commit sin. 

6. It was impossible that the Messiah should fail of persevering in integrity 
and holiness, as the first Adam did, because this would have been inconsistent 
with the promises, which God made to the blessed Virgin, his mother, and to her 
husband ; implying, that He should save his people from their sins, that God 
would give him the throne of his Father David, that He should reign over the 
kouse of Jacob forever ; and that of his kingdom there should be no end. These 
promises were sure, and it was impossible they should fail. — And therefore the 
Virgin Mary, in trusting fully to them, acted reasonably, having an immovable 
foundation of her faith ; as Elizabeth observes, Luke i. 45, " And blessed is 
she that believeth ; for there shall be a performance of those things, which were 
told her from the Lord." 

7. That it should have been possible that Christ should sin, and so fail in the 
work of our redemption, does not consist with the eternal purpose and decree of 
God, revealed in the Scriptures, that He would provide salvation for fallen man 
in and by Jesus Christ, and that salvation should be offered to sinners through 
the preaching of the gospel. Such an absolute decree as this, Armi.iians do not 
deny. — Thus much at least (out of all controversy) is implied in such Scriptures, 
as 1 Cor. ii. 7, Eph. i. 4, 5, and chap. iii. 9, 10, 11, 1 Pet. i. 19, 20. Such 
an absolute decree as this, Arminians allow to be signified in these texts. And 
the Arminians' election of nations and societies, and general election of the 
Christian Church, and conditional election of particular persons, imply this. 
God could not decree before the foundation of the world, to save all that should 
believe in, and obey Christ, unless he had absolutely decreed, that salvation 
should be provided, and effectually wrought out by Christ. And since (as the 
Arminians themselves strenuously maintain) a decree of God infers necessity ; 
hence it became necessary, that Christ should persevere, and actually work out 
salvation for us, and that he should not fail by the commission of sin. 

8. That it should have been possible for Christ's holiness to fail, is not con- 
sistent with what God promised to his Son, before all ages. For, that salvation 

Vol II 12 


should be offered to men through Christ, and bestowed on all his faithful 
followers, is what is at least implied in that certain and infallible promise spo- 
ken of by the apostle, Tit. i. 2, " In hope of eternal life ; which God, that 
cannot lie, promised before the world began." This does not seem to be 
controverted by Arminians.* 

9. That it should be possible for Christ to fail of doing his Father's Will, 
is inconsistent with the promise made to the Father by the Son, by the Logos 
that was with the Father from the beginning, before he took the human nature : 
as may be seen in Psal. xl. 6, 7, 8 (compared with the Apostle's interpretation, 
Heb. x. 5 — 9), " Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire ; mine ears hast 
thou opened [or boredj ; burnt-offering and sin-offering thou hast not required. 
Then said I, Lo, I come : in the volume of the book it is written of me, I 
delight to do thy Will, O my God, and thy law is within my heart." Where 
is a manifest allusion to the covenant, which the willing servant, who loved 
his master's service, made with his master, to be his servant forever, on the day 
wherein he had his ear bored ; which covenant was probably inserted in the 
public records, called the Volume of the Book, by the judges, who were called 
to lake cognizance of the transaction ; Exod. xxi. If the Logos, who was with 
the Father, before the world, and who made the world, thus engaged in cov- 
enant to do the Will of the Father in the human nature, and the promise was 
as it were recorded, that it might be made sure, doubtless it was impossible that 
it should fail ; and so it was impossible that Christ should fail of doing the Will 
of the Father in the human nature. 

10. If it was possible for Christ to have failed of doing the Will of his 
Father, and so to have failed of effectually working out redemption for sinners, 
then the salvation of all the saints, who were saved from the beginning of the 
world, to the death of Christ, was not built on a firm foundation. The Messiah, 
•and the redemption which he was to work out by his obedience unto death, 
was the foundation of the salvation of all the posterity of fallen man, that ever 
were saved. Therefore, if when the Old Testament saints had the pardon of 
their sins, and the favor of God promised them, and salvation bestowed upon 
them, still it was possible that the Messiah, when he came, might commit sin, 
then all this was on a foundation that was not firm and stable, but liable to 
fail ; something which it was possible might never be. God did as it were 
trust to what his Son had engaged and promised to do in future time ; and de- 
pended so much upon it, that He proceeded actually to save men on the account 
of it, as though it had been already done. But this trust and dependence of 
God, on the supposition of Christ's being liable to fail of doing his Will, was 
leaning on a staff that was weak, and might possibly break. — The saints of old 
trusted in the promises of a future redemption to be wrought out and completed 
by the Messiah, and built their comfort upon it : Abraham saw Christ's day 
and rejoiced ; and he and the other Patriarchs died in the faith of the promise 
of it. — (Heb. xi. 13.) But on this supposition, their faith and their comfort, 
and their salvation, was built on a movable, fallible foundation ; Christ was 
not to them a tried stone, a sure foundation : as in Isa. xxviii. 16. David en- 
tirely rested on the covenant of God with him, concerning the future glorious 
dominion and salvation of the Messiah, of his seed ; and says it was all his sal- 
vation, and all his desire : and comforts himself that this covenant was an 
" everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure," 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. But 
if Christ's virtue might fail, he was mistaken : His great comfort was not built 
so sure as he thought it was, being founded entirely on the determinations of 

* See Dr. Whitby on the Five Points, p. 48, 49, 5<X 


the Free Will of Christ's human Soul ; which was subject to no necessity, and 
might be determined either one way or the other. Also the dependence of 
those, who looked for redemption in Jerusalem, and waited for the consolation 
of Israel, (Luke ii. 25 and 38,) and the confidence of the disciples of Jesus, who 
forsook all and followed Him, that they might enjoy the benefits of his future 
kingdom, were built on a sandy foundation. 

11. The man Christ Jesus, before he had finished his course of obedience, 
and while in the midst of temptation and trials, was abundant in positively pre- 
dicting his own future glory in his kingdom, and the enlargement of his church, 
the salvation of the Gentiles through him, &c, and in promises of blessings he 
would bestow on his true disciples in his future kingdom ; on which promises 
he required the full dependence of his disciples, (John xiv.,) But the disciples 
would have had no ground for such dependence, if Christ had been liable to 
fail in his work : and Christ Himself would have been guilty of presumption, 
in so abounding in peremptory promises of great things, which depended on a 
mere contingence, viz., the determinations of his Free Will, consisting in 
a freedom ad utrumque, to either sin or holiness, standing in indifference, 
and incident, in thousands of future instances, to go either one way or the 

Thus it is evident, that it was impossible that the Acts of the Will of the 
human soul of Christ should be otherwise than holy, and conformed to the Will 
of the Father ; or, in other words, they were necessarily so conformed. 

I have been the longer in the proof of this matter, it being a thing denied 
by some of the greatest Arminians, by Episcopius in particular ; and because 
I look upon it as a point clearly and absolutely determining the controversy 
between Calvinists and Arminians, concerning the necessity of such a freedom 
of Will as is insisted on by the latter, in order to moral agency, virtue, com- 
mand or prohibition, promise or threatening, reward or punishment, praise or 
dispraise, merit or demerit. I now therefore proceed, 

II. To consider whether Christ, in his holy behavior on earth, was not 
thus a moral agent, subject to commands, promises, &c. 

Dr. Whitby very often speaks of what he calls a freedom ad utrumlibet, 
without necessity, as requisite to law and commands ; and speaks of necessity 
as entirely inconsistent with injunctions and prohibitions. But yet we read of 
Christ's being the subject of the commands of his Father, John x. 18, and xv. 
10. And Christ tells us, that every thing he said, or did, was in compliance 
with commandments he had received of the Father ; John xii. 49, 50, and xiv. 
31. And we often read of Christ's obedience to his Father's commands, Rom. 
v. 19, Phil. ii. 8, Heb. v. 8. 

The forementioned writer represents promises offered as motives to persons 
to do their duty, or a being moved and induced by promises, as utterly incon- 
sistent with a state wherein persons have not a liberty ad utrumlibet, but are 
necessarily determined to one. (See particularly, p. 297, 311.) But the 
thing which this writer asserts, is demonstrably false, if the Christian religion 
be true. If there be any truth in Christianity or the holy Scriptures, the man 
Christ Jesus had his Will infallibly, unalterably and unfrustrably determined to 
good, and that alone ; but yet he had promises of glorious rewards made to 
Him, on condition of his persevering in, and perfecting the work which God 
had appointed Him; Isa. liii. 10, 11, 12, Psal. ii. and ex., Isa. xlix. 7, 8, 9, 
In Luke xxii. 28, 29, Christ says to his disciples, " Ye are they which have 
continued with me in my temptations ; and I appoint unto you a kingdom, as 
my Father hath appointed unto me." The word most properly signifies to 


appoint by covenant or promise. The plain meaning of Christ's words is this : 
" As you have partook of my temptations and trials, and have been steadfast, and 
have overcome, I promise to make you partakers of my reward, and to give 
you a kingdom ; as the Father has promised me a kingdom for continuing 
steadfast, and overcoming in those trials." And the words are well explained 
by those in Rev. iii. 21, "To him that overcometh, will 1 grant to sit with me 
in my throne ; even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in 
his throne." And Christ had not only promises of glorious success and rewards 
made to his obedience and sufferings, but the Scriptures plainly represent him 
as using these promises for motives and inducements to obey and suffer ; and 
particularly that promise of a kingdom which the Father had appointed Him, 
or sitting with the Father in his throne ; as in Heb. xii. 1, 2, " Let us lay 
aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run 
with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and 
finisher of our faith ; who, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the 
cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of 

And how strange would it be to hear any Christian assert, that the holy 
and excellent temper and behavior of Jesus Christ, and that obedience which he 
performed under such great trials, was not virtuous or praiseworthy; because 
his Will was not free ad utrumque, to either holiness or sin, but was unalterably 
determined to one ; that upon this account there is no virtue at all, in all Christ's 
humility, meekness, patience, charity, forgiveness of enemies, contempt of the 
world, heavenly-mindedness, submission to the will of God, perfect obedience to 
his commands, (though he was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross,) 
his great compassion to the afflicted, his unparalleled love to mankind, his 
faithfulness to God and man, under such great trials ; his praying for his ene- 
mies, even when nailing him to the cross ; that virtue, when applied to these 
things, is but an empty name ; that there was no merit in any of these things ; 
that is, that Christ was worthy of nothing at all on account of them, worthy of 
no reward, no praise, no honor, or respect from God or man ; because his Will 
was not indifferent, and free, either to these things, or the contrary ; but under 
stlch a strong inclination or bias to the things that were excellent, as made it 
impossible that he should choose the contrary ; that upon this account (to use 
Dr. Whitby's language) it would be sensibly unreasonable that the human nature 
should be rewarded for any of these things. 

According to this doctrine, that creature who is evidently set forth in Scrip- 
ture as the^r^ born of every creature, as having in all things the pre-eminence, 
and as the highest of all creatures in virtue, honor, and worthiness of esteem, 
praise and glory, on the account of his virtue, is less worthy of reward or praise, 
than the very least of saints ; yea, no more worthy than a clock or mere 
machine, that is purely passive, and moved by natural necessity. 

If we judge by Scriptural representations of things, we have reason to 
suppose, that Christ took upon him our nature, and dwelt with us in this world, 
in a suffering state, not only to satisfy for our sins, but that He, being in our 
nature and circumstances, and under our trials, might be our most fit and proper 
example, leader and captain, in the exercise of glorious and victorious virtue, 
and might be a visible instance of the glorious end and reward of it ; that wt 
might see in Him the beauty, amiableness, and true honor and glory, and ex- 
ceeding benefit, of that virtue, which it is proper for us human beings to prac- 
tise ; and might thereby learn, and be animated, to seek the like glory and 
honor, and to obtain the like glorious reward. See Heb. ii. 9 — 14, with v 8, 


9, and xii. 1, 2, 3, John xv. 10, Rom. viii. 17, 2 Tim. ii. 11, 12, 1 Pet. 
ii. 19, 20, and iv. 13. But if there was nothing of any virtue or merit, or 
worthiness of any reward, glory, praise or commendation at all, in all that he 
did, because it was all necessary, and he could not help it ; then how is here 
any thing so proper to animate and excite us, free creatures, by patient contin- 
uance in well doing, to seek for honor, glory, and immortality ? 

God speaks of Himself as peculiarly well pleased with the righteousness of 
this servant of his. Isa. xlii. 2 1, " The Lord is well pleased for his righteous- 
ness' sake." The sacrifices of old are spoken of as a sweet savor to God, but 
the obedience of Christ as far more acceptable than they. Psal. xl. 6, 7, 
" Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire : mine ear hast Thou opened" 
[as thy servant performing willing obedience] ; " burnt-offering and sin-offering 
hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come" [as a servant that cheerfully 
answers the calls of his master] : " I delight to do thy will, O my God, yea, thy 
law is within mine heart." Matth. xvii. 5, " This is my beloved Son, in whom 
I am well pleased." And Christ tells us expressly, that the Father loves him 
for that wonderful instance of his obedience, his voluntary yielding himself to 
death, in compliance with the Father's command. John x. 17, 18, " There- 
fore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life : no man taketh it 
from me ; but I lay it down of myself. — This commandment received I of my 

And if there was no merit in Christ's obedience unto death, if it was not 
worthy of praise, and of the most glorious rewards, the heavenly hosts were 
exceedingly mistaken, by the account that is given of them, in Rev. v. 8 — 12 : 
" The four beasts and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, 
having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors. And they 
sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the 
seals thereof; for thou wast slain. — And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many 
angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and the elders, and the number 
of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 
saying with a loud voice, " Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power 
and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." 

Christ speaks of the eternal life which he was to receive, as the reward of his 
obedience to the Father's commandments. John xii. 49, 50, " I have not 
spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, He gave me a commandment 
what I should say, and what I should speak ; and I know that his commandment 
is life everlasting : whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, 
so I speak," God promises to divide him a portion with the great, &c. for his 
being his righteous servant, for his glorious virtue under such great trials and 
sufferings. Isa. liii. 11, 12, "He shall see the travail of his soul and be sat- 
isfied : by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many ; for he shall 
bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and 
he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out his soul 
unto death." The Scriptures represent God as rewarding him far above all his 
other servants. Phil. ii. 7, 8, 9, " He took on him the form of a servant, 
and was made in the likeness of men : and being found in fashion as a man, he 
humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; 
wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name above every 
name." Psal. xlv. 7, " Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness ; 
therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy 

There is no room to pretend, that the glorious benefits bestowed in conse- 


quence of Christ's obedience, are not properly of the nature of a reward. 
What is a reward, in the most proper sense, but a benefit bestowed in conse- 
quence of something morally excellent in quality or behavior, in testimony of 
well pleasedness in that moral excellency, and respect and favor on that 
account ? If we consider the nature of a reward most strictly, and make the 
utmost of it, and add to the things contained in this description, proper merit 
or worthiness, and the bestowment of the benefit in consequence of a promise ; 
still it will be found, there is nothing belonging to it, but that the Scripture is 
most express as to its belonging* to the glory bestowed on Christ, after his 
sufferings ; as appears from what has been already observed : there was a glo- 
rious benefit bestowed in consequence of something morally excellent, being 
called Righteousness and Obedience ; there was great favor, love and well 
pleasedness, for this righteousness and obedience, in the bestower ; there was 
proper merit, or worthiness of the benefit, in the obedience ; it was bestowed in 
fulfilment of promises made to that obedience ; and was bestowed therefore, or 
because he had performed that obedience. 

I may add to all these things, that Jesus Christ, while here in the flesh, was 
manifestly in a state of trial. The last Adam, as Christ is called, Rom. v. 14, 
1 Cor. xv. 45, taking on Him the human nature, and so the form of a servant, 
and being under the law, to stand and act for us, was put into a state of trial, 
as the first Adam was. — Dr. Whitby mentions these three things as evidences 
of persons being in a state of trial (on the Five Points, p. 298, 299), namely, 
their afflictions being spoken of as their trials or temptations, their being the 
subjects of promises, and their being exposed to Satan's temptations. But 
Christ was apparently the subject of each of these. Concerning promises made 
to him, I have spoken already. The difficulties and afflictions he met with in 
the course of his obedience, are called his temptations or trials." Luke xxii. 
28, " Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations [or trials]. 99 
Heb. ii. 18, " For in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted [or tried], 
He is able to succor them that are tempted." And chap. iv. 15, " We have 
not an high priest, which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities ; 
but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." And as to his 
being tempted by Satan, it is what none will dispute. 


The Case of such as are given up of God to Sin, and of fallen Man in general, proves 
moral Necessity and Inability to be consistent with blameworthiness. 

Dr. Whitby asserts freedom, not only from coaction, but Necessity, to be 
essential to any thing deserving the name of Sin, and to an action's being cul- 
pable, in these words (Discourse on the Five Points, edit. iii. p. 348) : "If 
they be thus necessitated, then neither their sins of omission or commission 
could deserve that name ; it being essential to the nature of Sin, according to 
St. Austin's definition, that it be an action a quo liberum est abstinere. Three 
things seem plainly necessary to make an action or omission culpable. 1. 
That it be in our power to perform or forbear it; for, as Origen, and all the 
Fathers say, no man is blameworthy for not doing what he could not do." 
And elsewhere the Doctor insists, that " when any do evil of Necessity, what 


they do us no vice, that they are guilty of no fault,* are worthy of no blame, 
dispraise,t or dishonor,! but are unblamable.'^ 

If these things are true, in Dr. Whitby's sense of Necessity, they will prove 
all such to be blameless, who are given up of God to sin, in what they commit 
after they are thus given up. That there is such a thing as men's being judicially 
given up to sin is certain, it the Scripture rightly informs us ; such a thing being 
often there spoken of; as in Psal. lxxxi. 12, " So I gave them up to their own 
hearts' lust, and they walked in their own counsels." Acts vii. 42, " Then 
God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven." Rom. i. 24, 
" Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleann ess, 'through the lusts of their 
own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves." Ver. 26, " For 
this cause God gave them up to vile affections." Ver. 28, " And even as 
they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a 
reprobate mind, to do those things that are not convenient." 

It is needless to stand particularly to inquire, what God's giving men up to 
then own hearts' lusts signifies : it is sufficient to observe, that hereby is cer- 
tainly meant God's so ordering or disposing things, in some respect or other, 
either by doing or forbearing to do, as that the consequence should be men's 
continuing in their sins. So much as men are given up to, so much is the con- 
sequence of their being given up, whether that be less or more. If God does 
not order things so, by action or permission, that sin will be the consequence, 
then the event proves that they are not given up to that consequence. If good 
be the consequence, instead of evil, then God's mercy is to be acknowledged 
in that good ; which mercy must be contrary to God's judgment in giving up 
to evil. If the event must prove, that they are given up to evil as the conse- 
quence, then the persons, who are the subjects of this judgment, must be the 
subjects of such an event, and so the event is necessary. 

If not only coaction, but all Necessity, will prove men blameless, then Judas 
was blameless, after Christ had given him over, and had already declared his 
certain damnation, and that he should verily betray him. He was guilty of no sin 
in betraying his master, on this supposition ; though his so doing is spoken of by 
Christ as the most aggravated sin, more heinous than the sin of Pilate in cru- 
cifying him. And the Jews in Egypt, in Jeremiah's time, were guilty of no 
sin, in their not worshipping the true God, after God had sworn by his great 
name, that his name should be no more named in the mouth of any man of Ju- 
dah, in all the land of Egypt Jer. xliv. 26. 

Dr. Whitby (Discourse on Five Points, p. 302, 303) denies, that men, in 
this world, are ever so given up by God to sin, that their Wills should be necessa- 
rily determined to evil ; though he owns, that hereby it may become exceeding 
difficult for men to do good, having a strong bent, and powerful inclination, to 
what is evil. — But if we should allow the case to be just as he represents, the 
judgment of giving up to sin will no better agree with his notions of that lib- 
erty, which is essential to praise or blame, than if we should suppose it to 
render the avoiding of Sin impossible. For if an impossibility of avoiding Sin 
wholly excuses a man ; then, for the same reason, its being difficult to avoid it, 
excuses him in part ; and this just in proportion to the degree of difficulty. — If 
the influence of moral impossibility or inability be the same, to excuse persons 
in not doing, or not avoiding any thing, as that of natural inability (which is 
supposed), then undoubtedly, in like manner, moral difficulty has the same in- 
fluence to excuse with natural difficulty. But all allow, that natural impossi- 

* Discourse on the Five Points, p. 347, 360, 377. t 303, 326, 329, and many other pi 

* 371. $ 304, 361 


bility wholly excuses, and also that natural difficulty excuses in part, and makes 
the act or omission less blamable in proportion to the difficulty. All natural 
difficulty according to the plainest dictate of the light of nature, excuses in 
some degree, so that the neglect is not so blamable, as if there had been no 
difficulty in the case : and so the greater the difficulty is, still the more excusa- 
ble, in proportion to the increase of the difficulty. And as natural impossibility 
wholly excuses and excludes all blame, so the nearer the difficulty approaches 
to impossibility, still the nearer a person is to blamelessness in proportion to 
that approach. And if the case of moral impossibility or necessity, be just the 
same with natural necessity or coaction, as to influence to excuse a neglect, 
then also, for the same reason, the case of natural difficulty, does not differ in 
influence, to excuse a neglect, from moral difficulty, arising from a strong bias 
or bent to evil, such as Dr. Whitby owns in the case of those that are given 
up to their own hearts' lusts. So that the fault of such persons must be lessened, 
in proportion to the difficulty, and approach to impossibility. If ten degrees 
of moral difficulty make the action quite impossible, and so wholly excuse, then 
if there be nine degrees of difficulty, the person is in great part excused, and is 
nine degrees in ten less blameworthy, than if there had been no difficulty at all : 
and he has but one degree of blameworthiness. The reason is plain on Armin- 
ian principles, viz., because as difficulty by antecedent bent and bias on the Will, 
is increased, liberty of indifference, and self-determination in the Will, is 
diminished ; so much hinderance and impediment is there, in the way of the 
WilFs acting freely, by mere self-determination. And if ten degrees of such 
hinderance take away all such liberty, then nine degrees take away nine parts 
in ten, and leave but one degree of liberty. And therefore there is but one 
degree of blamableness, cceteris paribus, in the neglect ; the man being no 
further blamable in what he does, or neglects, than he has liberty in that affair : 
for blame or praise (say they) arises wholly from a good use or abuse of 

From all which it follows, that a strong bent and bias one way, and diffi- 
culty of going the contrary, never causes a person to be at all more exposed to 
sin, or any thing blamable : because, as the difficulty is increased, so much the 
less is required and expected. Though in one respect, exposedness to sin or 
fault is increased, viz., by an increase of exposedness to the evil action or omis- 
sion ; yet it is diminished in another respect, to balance it ; namely, as the sin- 
fulness or blamableness of the action or omission is diminished in the same 
proportion. So that, on the whole, the affair, as to exposedness to guilt or 
blame, is left just as it was. 

To illustrate this, let us suppose a scale of a balance to be intelligent, and a 
free agent, and indued with a self-moving power, by virtue of which it could act 
and produce effects to a certain degree, ex. gr. to move itself up or down with 
a force equal to a weight of ten pounds ; and that it might therefore be requir- 
ed of it, in ordinary circumstances, to move itself down with that force ; for 
which it has power and full liberty, and therefore would be blameworthy if it 
failed of it. But then let us suppose a weight of ten pounds to be put in the 
opposite scale, which in force entirely counterbalances its self-moving power, 
and so renders it impossible for it to move down at all ; this therefore wholly 
excuses it from any such motion. But if we suppose there to be only nine 
pounds in the opposite scale, this renders its motion not impossible, but yet more 
difficult : so that it can now only move down with the force of one pound : but 
however this is all that is required of it under these circumstances ; it is wholly 
excused from nine parts of its motion : and if the scaie, under these circumstan- 


cpf, neglects to move, and remains at rest, all that it will be blamed for, will be 
its neglect of that one tenth part of its motion ; which it had as much liberty 
and advantage for, as in usual circumstances it has for the greater motion, which 
in such a case would be required. So that this new difficulty, does not at all 
increase its exposedness to any thing blameworthy. 

And thus the very supposition of difficulty in the way of a man's duty, or 
proclivity to sin, through a being given up to hardness of heart, or indeed by any 
other means whatsoever, is an inconsistence, according to Dr. Whitby's notions 
of liberty, virtue and vice, blame and praise. The avoiding sin and blame, and 
the doing what is virtuous and praiseworthy, must be always equally easy. 
Dr. Whitby's notions of liberty, obligation, virtue, sin, &c, led him into another 
great inconsistence. He abundantly insists, that necessity is inconsistent with 
the nature of sin or fault. He says in the forementioned treatise, p. 14, " Who 
can blame a person for doing what he could not help V And p. 15, " It 
being sensibly unjust, to punish any man for doing that which was never in his 
power to avoid." And in p. 341, to confirm his opinion, he quotes one of the 
Fathers, saying, " Why doth God command, if man hath not free Will and 
power to obey w 'And again in the same and the next page, " Who will not 
cry out, that it is folly to command him, that hath not liberty to do what is 
commanded ; and that it is unjust to condemn him, that has it not in his power 
to do what is required Vl And in p. 373, he cites another saying : " A law is 
given to him that can turn to both parts, i. e. obey or transgress it : but no law 
can be against him who is bound by nature." 

And yet. the same Dr. Whitby asserts, that fallen man is not able to per- 
form perfect obedience. In p. 165, he has these words : " The nature of Adam 
had power to continue innocent, and without sin ; whereas it is certain our na- 
ture never had." — But if we have not power to continue innocent and with- 
out sin, then sin is inconsistent with Necessity, and we may be sinful in that 
which we have not power to avoid ; and these things cannot be true which he 
asserts elsewhere, namely, " That if we be necessitated, neither sins of omission 
nor commission, would deserve that name," (p. 348.) If we have it not in our 
power to be innocent, then we have it not in our power to to be blameless : and 
if so, we are under a necessity of being blameworthy. — And how does this con- 
sist with what he so often asserts, that necessity is inconsistent with blame or 
praise 1 If we have it not in our power to perform perfect obedience, to 
all the commands of God, then we are under a necessity of breaking some 
commands, in some degree ; having no power to perform so much as is com- 
manded. And if so, why does he cry out of the unreasonableness and folly of 
commanding beyond what men have power to do ? 

And Arminians in general are very inconsistent with themselves in what 
they say of the inability of fallen Man in this respect. They strenuously main- 
tain, that it would be unjust in God, to require any thing of us beyond our pre- 
sent power and ability to perform ; and also hold, that we are now unable to 
perform perfect obedience, and that Christ died to satisfy for the imperfections 
of our obedience, and has made way, that our imperfect obedience might be 
accepted instead of perfect : wherein they seem insensibly to run themselves 
into the grossest inconsistence. For (as I have observed elsewhere), " they hold, 
that God, in mercy to mankind, has abolished that rigorous constitution or law, 
that they were under originally; and instead of it, has introduced a more inilrt 
constitution, and put as under a new law, which requires no more than imper- 
fect sincere obedience, in compliance with our poor, infirm, impotent circum- 
stances since the fall." 

Vol II. 13 


Now, how can these things be made consistent ? I would ask, what law 
these imperfections of our obedience are a breach of ? If they are a breach of 
no law that we were ever under, then they are not sins. And if they be not 
sins, what need of Christ's dying to satisfy for them ? But if they are sins, and 
the breach of some law, what law is it ? They cannot be a breach of their 
new law ; for that requires no other than imperfect obedience, or obedience with 
imperfections : and therefore to have obedience attended with imperfections, is 
no breach of it ; for it is as much as it requires. And they cannot be a breach of 
their old law ; for that, they say, is entirely abolished ; and we never were under 
it. They say, it would not be just in God to require of us perfect obedience, be- 
cause it would not be just to require more than we can perform, or to punish us 
for failing of it. And therefore, by their own scheme, the imperfections of our 
obedience do not deserve to be punished. What need therefore of Christ's dy- 
ing, to satisfy for them ? What need of his suffering to satisfy for that which 
is no fault, and ' in its own nature deserves no suffering ? What need of 
Christ's dying, to purchase, that our imperfect obedience should be accepted, 
when, according to their scheme, it would be unjust in itself, that any other 
obedience than imperfect should be required 1 What need'of Christ's dying to 
make way for God's accepting such an obedience, as it would be unjust in him 
not to accept 1 Is there any need of Christ's dying, to prevail with God not to 
do unrighteously ? If it be said, that Christ died to so satisfy that old law for 
us, that so we might not be under it, but that there might be room for our being 
under a more mild law : still I would inquire, what need of Christ's dying, that 
we might not be under a law , which (by their principles) it would be in itself 
unjust that we should be under, whether Christ had died or no , because, in our 
present state, we are not able to keep it ? 

So the Arminians are inconsistent with themselves, not only in what they 
say of the need of Christ's satisfaction to atone for those imperfections, which 
we cannot avoid, but also in what they say of the grace of God, granted to 
enable men to perform the sincere obedience of the new law. " I grant (says Dr. 
Stebbing*), indeed, that by reason of original sin, we are utterly disabled for the 
performance of the condition, without new grace from God. But I say then, . 
that he gives such grace to all of us, by which the performance of the condition 
is truly possible : and upon this ground he may, and doth most righteously re- 
quire it." If Dr. Stebbing intends to speak properly, by grace he must mean, 
that assistance which is of grace, or of free favor and kindness. But yet in 
the same place he speaks of it as very unreasonable, unjust and cruel, for God 
to acquire that, as the condition of pardon, that is become impossible by origi- 
nal Sin. If it be so, what grace is there in giving assistance and ability to per- 
form the condition of pardon 1 Or why is that called by the name of grace, 
that is an absolute debt, which God is bound to bestow, and which it would be 
unjust and cruel in Him to withhold, seeing he requires that, as the condition of 
pardon, which we cannot perform without it 

* Treatise of the Operations of the Spirit, second edition, p. 112, 113. 



Command and Obligation to Obedience, consistent with moral Inability to obey. 

It being so much insisted on by Arminian writers, that necessity is inconsis- 
tent with Law or Command, and particularly, that it is absurd to suppose God by 
his command should require that of men which they are unable to do ; not 
allowing in this case for any difference that there is between natural and moral 
Inability ; I would therefore now particularly consider this matter. 

And, for the greater clearness, I would distinctly lay down the following 

I. The Will itself, and not only those actions which are the effects of the 
Will, is thp proper object of precept or Command. That is, such or such a state 
or acts of men's Wills, is in many cases, properly required of them by Command ; 
and not those alterations in the state of their bodies or minds only that are the 
consequences of volition. This is most manifest : for it is the soul only that is 
properly and directly the subject of precepts or commands; that only being ca- 
pable of receiving or perceiving commands. The motions or state of the body 
are matter of command, only as they are subject to the soul, and connected with 
its acts. But now the soul has no other faculty whereby it can, in the most 
direct and proper sense, consent, yield to, or comply with any command, but the 
faculty of the Will ; and it is by this faculty only, that the soul can directly dis- 
obey, or refuse compliance ; for the very notions of consenting, yielding, 
accepting, complying, refusing, rejecting, &c, are, according to the meaning of 
the terms, nothing but certain acts of the Will. Obedience, in the primary 
nature of it, is the submitting and yielding of the Will of one to the Will of 
another. Disobedience is the not consenting, not complying of the Will of the 
commanded to the manifested Will of the commander. Other acts that are not 
the acts of the Will, as certain motions of the body and alterations in the soul, 
are obedience or disobedience only indirectly as they are connected with the 
state or acts of the Will, according to an established law of nature. So that it 
is manifest, the Will itself may be required, and the being of a good Will is the 
most proper, direct and immediate subject of command ; and if this cannot be 
prescribed or required by command or precept, nothing can ; for other things can 
be required no otherwise than as they depend upon, and are the fruits of a good 

Corol. 1. If there be several acts of the Will, or a series of acts, one follow- 
ing another, and one the effect of another, the first and determining act is properly 
the subject of command, and not the consequent acts only, which are dependent 
upon it. Yea, it is this more especially, which is that which command or pre- 
cept has a proper respect to ; because it is this act that determines the whole 
affair : in this act the obedience or disobedience lies, in a peculiar manner ; the 
consequent acts being all subject to it, and governed and determined by it. This 
determining, governing act must be the proper subject of precept, or none. 

Corol. 2. It also follows, from what has been observed, that if there be any 
sort of act, or exertion of the soul, prior to all free acts of the Will or acts of 
choice in the case directing and determining what the acts of the Will shall be ; 
that act or exertion of the soul cannot properly be subject to command or pre- 
cept, in any respect whatsoever, either directly or indirectly, immediately oi 
remotely. Such acts cannot be subject to commands directly, because they are 


no acts of the Will ; being by the supposition prior to all acts of the Will, 
determining and giving rise to all its acts : they not being acts of the Will, there 
can be in them no consent to, or compliance with, any command. Neither can 
they be subject to command or precept, indirectly ox remotely ; for they are not 
so much as the effects or consequences of the Will, being prior to all its acts. So 
that if there be any obedience in that original act of the soui, determining all 
volitions, it is an act of obedience wherein the Will has no concern at all ; it 
preceding every act of Will. And therefore, if the soul either obeys or disobeys 
in this act, it is wholly involuntarily ; there is no willing obedience or rebellion, 
no compliance or opposition of the Will in the affair : and what sort of obedience 
or rebellion is this 1 

And thus the Arminian notion of the freedom of the Will consisting in the 
soul's determining its own acts of Will, instead of being essential to moral agency, 
and to men's being the subjects of moral government is utterly inconsistent with 
it. For if the soul determines all its acts of Will, it is therein subject to no 
command or moral government, as has been now observed ; because its original 
determining act is no act of Will or choice, it being prior, by the supposition, 
to every act of Will. And the soul cannot be the subject of command in the 
act of the Will itself which depends on the foregoing determining act, and is 
determined by it ; inasmuch as this is necessary, being the necessary consequence 
and effect of that prior determining act, which is not voluntary. Nor can the 
man be a subject of command or government in his external actions ; because 
these are all necessary, being the necessary effects of the acts of the Will them- 
selves. So that mankind, according to this scheme, are subjects of command 
or moral government in nothing ; and all their moral agency is entirely excluded, 
and no room for virtue or vice in the world. 

So that it is the Arminian scheme, and not the scheme of the Calvinists, that 
is utterly inconsistent with moral government, and with the use of laws, precepts, 
prohibitions, promises or threatenings. Neither is there any way whatsoever 
to make their principles consist with these things. For if it be said, that there 
is no prior determining act of the soul, preceding the acts of the Will, but that 
volitions are events that come to pass by pure accident, without any determining 
cause, this is most palpably inconsistent with all use of laws and precepts ; for 
nothing is more plain than that laws can be of no use to direct and regulate per- 
fect accident ; which, by the supposition of its being pure accident, is in no case 
regulated by any thing preceding ; but happens, this way or that, perfectly by 
chance, without any cause or rule. The perfect uselessness of laws and precepts 
also follows from the Arminian notion of indifference, as essential to that lib- 
erty, which is requisite to virtue or vice. For the end of laws is to bind to one 
side ; and the end of commands is to turn the Will one way ; and therefore 
they are of no use, unless they turn or bias the Will that way. But if liberty 
consists in indifference, then their biassing the Will one way only, destroys lib- 
erty ; as it puts the Will out of equilibrium. So that the Will, having a bias, 
through the influence of binding law, laid upon it, is not wholly left to itself, to 
determine itself which way it will, without influence from without. 

II. Having shown that the Will itself, especially in those acts, which are 
original, leading and determining in any case, is the proper subject of precept 
and command, and not only those alterations in the body, &c, which are the 
effects of the Will ; I now proceed, in the second place, to observe that the very 
opposition or defect of the Will itself, in that act, which is its original and deter- 
mining act in the case ; I say the Will's opposition in this act to a thing proposed 
or commanded, or its failing of compliance, implies a moral Inability to that thing : 


or, in other words, whenever a command requires a certain state or act of the 
Will, and the person commanded, notwithstanding the command and the circum- 
stances under which it is exhibited, still finds his Will opposite or wanting, in 
that, belonging to its state or acts, which is original and determining in the 
affair, that man is morally unable to obey that command. 

This is manifest from what was observed in the first part, concerning the 
nature of moral Inability, as distinguished from natural ; where it was observed, 
that a man may then be said to be morally unable to do a thing, when he is 
under the influence or prevalence of a contrary inclination, or has a want of in- 
clination, under such circumstances and views. It is also evident, from what 
has been before proved, that the Will is always, and in every individual act, 
necessarily determined by the strongest motive ; and so is always unable to go 
against the motive, which, all things considered, has now the greatest strength 
and advantage to move the Will.— But not further to insist on these things, the 
truth of the position now laid down, viz., that when the Will is opposite to, or, 
fading of a compliance with a thing in its original, determining inclination or 
act. it is not able to comply, appears by the consideration of these two things. 

1. The Will in the time of that diverse or opposite leading act or inclination, 
and when actually under the influence of it, is not able to exert itself to the con- 
trary, to make an alteration, in order to a compliance. The inclination is unable 
to change itself : and that for this plain reason, that it is unable to incline to 
change itself. Present choice cannot at present choose to be otherwise : for 
that would be at present to choose something diverse from what is at present 
chosen. If the Will, all things now considered, inclines or chooses to go that 
way, then it cannot choose, all things now considered, to go the other way, and so 
cannot choose to be made to go the other way. To suppose that the mind is now 
sincerely inclined to change itself to a different inclination, is to suppose the mind 
is now truly inclined otherwise than it is now inclined. The Will may oppose 
some future remote act that it is exposed to, but not its own present act. 

2. A s it is impossible that the Will should comply with the thing commanded, 
with respect to its leading act, by any act of its own, in the time of that diverse 
or opposite leading and original act, or after it has actually come under the in- 
fluence of that determining choice or inclination ; so it is impossible it should be 
determined to a compliance by any foregoing act ; for, by the very supposition, 
there is no foregoing act ; the opposite or noncomplying act being that act which 
is original and determining in the case. Therefore it must be so, that if this 
first determining act be found noncomplying, on the proposal of the command, 
the mind is morally unable to obey. For to suppose it to be able to obey, is to 
suppose it to be able to determine and cause its first determining act to be other- 
wise, and that it has power better to govern and regulate its first governing and 
regulating act, which is absurd ; for it is to suppose a prior act of the Will, 
determining its first determining act ; that is, an act prior to the first, and lead- 
ing and governing the original and governing act of all ; which is a contra- 

Here if it should be said, that although the mind has not any ability to Will 
contrary to what it does Will, in the original and leading act of the Will, be- 
cause there is supposed to be no prior act to determine and order it otherwise, 
and the Will cannot immediately change itself, because it cannot at present 
incline to a change ; yet the mind has an ability for the present to forbear to 
proceed to action, and to take time for deliberation ; which may be an occasion 
of the change of the inclination, 

J answer, (1.) In this objection that seems to be forgotten which was ob- 


served before, viz., that the determining to take the matter into consideration, i& 
itself an act of the Will ; and if this be all the act wherein the mind exercises 
ability and freedom, then this, by the supposition, must be all that can be com- 
manded or required by precept. And if this act be the commanded act, then all 
that has been observed concerning the commanded act of the Will remains true, 
that the very want of it is a moral Inability to exert it, &c. (2.) W T e are 
speaking concerning the first and leading act of the Will in the case, or about 
the affair ; and if a determining to deliberate, or on the contrary, to proceed 
immediately without deliberating, be the first and leading act ; or whether it 
be or no, if there be another act before it, which determines that ; or whatever 
be the original and leading act ; still the foregoing proof stands good, that the 
noncompliance of the leading act implies moral Inability to comply. 

If it should be objected, that these things make all moral Inability equal, 
and suppose men morally unable to Will otherwise than they actually do Will, 
in all cases, and equally so in every instance : 

In answer to this objection, I desire two things may be observed. First, 
That if by being equally unable, be meant as really unable ; then, so far as the 
Inability is merely moral, it is true, the Will, in every instance, acts by moral 
necessity and is morally unable to act otherwise, as truly and properly in one 
case as another ; as I humbly conceive has been perfectly and abundantly 
demonstrated by what has been said in the preceding part^f this Essay. But 
yet, in some respect, the Inability may be said to be greater in some instances 
than others ; though the man may be truly unable (if moral Inability can truly 
be called Inability), yet he may be further from being able to do some things 
than others. As it is in things, which men are naturally unable to do. — A per- 
son, whose strength is no more than sufficient to lift the weight of one hundred 
pounds, is as truly and really unable to lift one hundred and one pounds, as ten 
thousands pounds ; but yet he is further from being able to lift the latter weight 
than the former ; and so, according to common use of speech, has a greater In- 
ability for it. So it is in moral Inability. A man is truly morally unable to 
choose contrary to a present inclination, which in the least degree prevails ; or, 
contrary to that motive, which, all things considered, has strength and advantage 
now to move the Will, in the least degree, superior to all other motives in view ; 
but yet he is further from ability to resist a very strong habit, and a violent and 
deeply rooted inclination, or a motive vastly exceeding all others in strength. 
And again, the Inability may, in some respects, be called greater in some instan- 
ces than others, as it may be more general and extensive to all acts of that kind 
So men may be said to be unable in a different sense, and to be further from 
moral ability, who have that moral Inability which is general and habitual, than 
they who have only that Inability which is occasional and particular* Thus 
in cases of natural Inability ; he that is born blind may be said to be unable to 
see, in a different manner, and is, in some respects, further from being able to 
see, than he whose sight is hindered by a transient cloud or mist. 

And besides, that which was observed in the first part of this discourse, con- 
cerning the Inability which attends a strong and settled habit, should be here 
remembered, viz., that fixed habit is attended with this peculiar moral Inability, 
by which it is distinguished from occasional volition, namely, that endeavors to 
avoid future volitions of that kind, which are agreeable to such a habit, much 
more frequently and commonly prove vain and insufficient. For though it is 
impossible there should be any true, sincere desires and endeavors against a 

* See this distinction of moral Inability explained in Part I. Sect. IV, 


present volition or choice, yet there may be against volitions of that kind, when 
viewed at a distance. A person may desire and use means to prevent future 
exercises of a certain inclination; and, in order to it, may wish the habit might 
be removed ; but his desires and endeavors may be ineffectual. The man may 
be said in some sense to be unable ; yea, even as the word unable is a relative 
term, and has relation to ineffectual endeavors ; yet not with regard to present, 
but remote endeavors. 

Secondly, It must be borne in mind, according to what was observed before, 
that indeed no Inability whatsoever, which is merely moral, is properly called by 
the name of Inability ; and that in the strictest propriety of speech, a man may 
be said to have a thing in his power, if he has it at his election ; and he cannot 
be said to be unable to do a thing, when he can, if he now pleases, or whenever 
he has a proper, direct and immediate desire for it. As to those desires and en- 
deavors, that may be against the exercises of a strong habit, with regard to which 
men may be said to be unable to avoid those exercises, they are remote desires 
and endeavors in two respects. First, as to time ; they are never against pres- 
ent volitions, but only against volitions of such a kind, when viewed at a distance. 
Secondly, as to their nature ; these opposite desires are not directly and properly 
against the habit and inclination itself, or the volitions in which it is exercised ; 
for these, s in themselves considered, are agreeable ; but against something else, 
that attends them, or is their consequence ; the opposition of the mind is level- 
led entirely against this ; the inclination or volitions themselves are not at all 
opposed directly, and for their own sake; but only indirectly and remotely on 
the account of something alien and foreign. 

III. Though the opposition of the Will itself, or the very want of Will to 
a thing commanded, implies a moral Inability to that thing ; yet, if it be, as 
has been already shown, that the being of a good state or act of Will, is a 
thing most properly required by command ; then, in some cases, such a state 
or act of Will may properly be required, which at present is not, and which 
may also be wanting after it is commanded. And therefore those things may 
properly be commanded, which men have a moral Inability for. 

Such a state, or act of the Will, may be required by command, as does not 
already exist. For if that volition only may be commanded to be which already 
is, there could be no use of precept ; commands in all cases would be perfectly 
vain and impertinent. And not only may such a Will be required, as is want- 
ing before the command is given, but also such as may possibly be wanting 
afterwards ; such as the exhibition of the command may not be effectual to 
produce or excite. — Otherwise, no such things as disobedience to a proper and 
rightful command is possible in any case ; and there is no case supposable or 
possible, wherein there can be an inexcusable or faulty disobedience ; which 
Arminiam cannot affirm consistently with their principles : for this makes obe- 
dience to just and proper commands always necessary, and Disobedience im- 
possible. And so the Arminian would overthrow himself, yielding the very 
point we are upon, which he so strenuously denies, viz., that law and command 
are consistent with necessity. 

If merely that Inability will excuse disobedience, which is implied in the 
opposition or defect of inclination, remaining after the command is exhibited, 
then wickedness always carries that in it which excuses it. It is evermore so, 
that by how much the more wickedness there is in a man's heart, by so much 
is his inclination to evil the stronger, and by so much the more, therefore, has 
he of moral Inability to the good required. His moral Inability, consisting in 
the strength of his evil inclination, is the very thing wherein his wickedness 


consists ; and yet, according to Arminian principles, it must be a thing incon- 
sistent with wickedness ; and by how much the more he has of it, by so much 
is he the further from wickedness. 

Therefore, on the whole, it is manifest, that moral Inability alone (which 
consists in disinclination) never renders any thing improperly the subject matter 
of precept or command, and never can excuse any person in disobedience, or 
want of conformity to a command 

Natural Inability, arising from the want of natural capacity, or external 
hinderance (which alone is properly called Inability), without doubt wholly 
excuses, or makes a thing improperly the matter of command. If men are ex- 
cused from doing or acting any good thing, supposed to be commanded, it must 
be through some defect or obstacle that is not in the Will itself, but extrinsic to 
it ; either in the capacity of understanding, or body, or outward circumstances. 

Here two or three things may be observed : 

1. As to spiritual duties or acts, or any good thing in the state or immanent 
acts of the Will itself, or of the affections (which are only certain modes of the 
exercise of the Will), if persons are justly excused, it must be through want of 
capacity in the natural faculty of understanding. Thus the same spiritual duties, 
or holy affections and exercises of heart, cannot be required of men, as may 
be of angels ; the capacity of understanding being so much inferior. So men 
cannot be required to love those amiable persons, whom they have had no op- 
portunity to see, 01 hear of, or come to the knowledge of, in any way agreeable 
to the natural state and capacity of the human understanding. But the in- 
sufficiency of motives will not excuse ; unless their being insufficient arises not 
from the moral state of the Will or inclination itself, but from the state of the 
natural understanding. The great kindness and generosity of another may be 
a motive insufficient to excite gratitude in the person, that receives the kind- 
ness, through his vile and ungrateful temper : in this case, the insufficiency of 
the motive arises from the state of the Will or inclination of heart, and does 
not at all excuse. But if this generosity is not sufficient to excite gratitude, 
being unknown, there being no means of information adequate to the state and 
measure of the person's faculties, this insufficiency is attended with a natural 
Inability which entirely excuses. 

2. As to such motions of body, or exercises and alterations of mind, which 
do not consist in the immanent acts or state of the Will itself, but are supposed 
to be required as effects of the Will ; I say, in such supposed effects of the Will, 
in cases wherein there is no want of a capacity of understanding ; that Ina- 
bility, and that only excuses, which consists in want of connection between 
them and the Will. If the Will fully complies, and the proposed effect does 
not prove, according to the laws of nature, to be connected with his volition, 
the man is perfectly excused ; he has a natural Inability to the thing required. 
For the Will itself, as has been observed, is all that can be directly and imme- 
diately required by Command ; and other things only indirectly, as connected 
with the Will. If, therefore, there be a full compliance of Will, the person has 
done his duty ; and if other things do not prove to be connected with his vo- 
lition, that is not owing to him. 

3. Both these kinds of natural Inability that have been mentioned, and 
so all Inability that excuses, may be resolved into one thing, namely, want oi 
natural capacity or strength ; either capacity of understanding, or external 
strength. For when there are external defects and obstacles, they would be 
no obstacles, were it not for the imperfection and limitations of understanding 
and strength. 


Corol. If things for which men have a moral Inability, may properly be 
the matter of precept or command, then they may also of invitation and coun- 
sel. Commands and invitations come very much to the same thing ; the differ- 
ence is only circumstantial : commands are as much a manifestation of the Will 
of him that speaks, as invitations, and as much testimonies of expectation ot 
compliance. The difference between them lies in nothing that touches the 
affair in hand. The main difference between command and invitation consists in 
the enforcement of the Will of him who commands or invites. In the latter it 
is his kindness, the goodness which his Will arises from : in the former it is his 
authority. But whatever be the ground of the Will of -him that speaks, or the 
enforcement of what he says, yet, seeing neither his Will nor expectation is 
any more testified in the one case than the other ; therefore a person's being 
known to be morally unable to do the thing to which he is directed by Invita- 
tion, is no more an evidence of insincerity in him that directs in manifesting 
either a Will, or expectation which he has not, than his being known to be 
morally unable to do what he is directed to by command. So that all this grand 
objection of Arminians against the Inability of fallen men to exert faith in 
Christ, or to perform other spiritual gospel duties, from the sincerity of God's 
counsels and invitations, must be without force. 


That Sincerity of Desires and Endeavors, which is supposed to excuse in the Non- 
performance of Things in themselves good, particularly considered. 

It is what is much insisted on by many, that some men, though they are not 
able to perform spiritual duties, such as repentance of sin, love of God, a cordial 
acceptance of Christ as exhibited and offered in the gospel, &c, yet they may 
sincerely desire and endeavor these things ; and therefore must be excused ; it 
being unreasonable to blame them for the omission of those things, which they 
sincerely desire and endeavor to do, but cannot do. 

Concerning this matter, the following things may be observed : 

1. What is here supposed, is a great mistake and gross absurdity ; even 
that men may sincerely choose and desire those spiritual duties of love, accept- 
ance, choice, rejection, &c, consisting in the exercise of the Will itself, or in 
the disposition and inclination of the heart ; and yet not be able to perform or 
exert them. This is absurd, because it is absurd to suppose that a man should 
directly, properly and sincerely incline to have an inclination, which at the same 
time is contrary to his inclination : for that is to suppose him not to be inclined 
to that, to which he is inclined. If a man, in the state and acts of his Will and 
inclination, does properly and directly fall in with those duties, he therein per- 
forms them : for the duties themselves consist in that very thing ; they consist 
in the state and acts of the Will being so formed and directed. If the soul properly 
and sincerely falls in with a certain proposed act of Will or choice, the soul therein 
makes that choice its own. Even as when a moving body falls in with a pro- 
posed direction of its motion, that is the same thing as to move in that direction. 

2. That which is called a desire and willingness for those inward duties, in 
such as do not perform them, has respect to these duties only indirectly and re- 
motely, and is improperly represented as a willingness for them ; not only 
because (as was observed before) it respects those good volitions only in a 

Vol. II 14 


distant view, and with respect to future time ; but also because evermore, not 
these things themselves, but something else, that is alien and foreign, is the ob- 
ject that terminates these volitions and desires. 

A drunkard, who continues in his drunkenness, being under the power of a 
love, and violent appetite to strong drink, and without any love to virtue ; but 
being also extremely covetous and close, and very much exercised and grieved 
at the diminution of his estate, and prospect of poverty, may in a sort desire the 
virtue of temperance ; and though his present Will is to gratify his extravagant 
appetite, yet he may wish he had a heart to forbear future acts of intemperance, 
and forsake his excesses, through an unwillingness to part with his money : 
but still he goes on with his drunkenness ; his wishes and endeavors are insuffi- 
cient and ineffectual : such a man has no proper, direct, sincere willingness to 
forsake this vice, and the vicious deeds which belong to it : for he acts volunta- 
rily in continuing to drink to excess : his desire is very improperly called a 
willingness to be temperate ; it is no true desire of that virtue ; for it is not 
that virtue, that terminates his wishes ; nor have they any direct respect to it. 
It is only the saving his money, and avoiding poverty, that terminates and ex- 
hausts the whole strength of his desire. The virture of temperance is regarded 
only very indirectly and improperly, even as a necessary means of gratifying the 
vice of covetousness. 

So a man of an exceeding corrupt and wicked heart, who has no love to God 
and Jesus Christ, but, on the contrary, being very profanely and carnally in- 
clined, has the greatest distaste of the things of religion, and enmity against them ; 
yet being of a family, that from one generation to another, have most of them 
died, in youth, of an hereditary consumption ; and so having little hope of living 
long ; and having been instructed in the necessity of a supreme love to Christ, 
and gratitude for his death and sufferings, in order to his salvation from eternal 
misery ; if under these circumstances he should, through fear of eternal torments, 
wish he had such a disposition : but his profane and carnal heart remaining, he 
continues still in his habitual distaste of, and enmity to God and religion, and 
wholly without any exercise of that love and gratitude (as doubtless the very 
devils themselves, notwithstanding all the devilishness of their temper, would 
wish for a holy heart, if by that means they could get out of hell) : in this case, 
there is no sincere willingness to love Christ snd choose him as his chief good : 
these holy dispositions and exercises are not at all the direct object of the Will • 
they truly share no part of the inclination or desire of the soul ; but all is ter- 
minated on deliverance from torment : and these graces and pious volitions, 
notwithstanding this forced consent, are looked upon as undesirable ; as when 
a sick man desires a dose he greatly abhors, to save his life. — From these things 
it appears, 

3. That this indirect willingness which has been spoken of, is not that exer- 
cise of the Will which the command requires ; but is entirely a different one ; 
being a volition of a different nature, and terminated altogether on different ob- 
jects ; wholly falling short of that virtue of Will, which the command has 
respect to. 

4. This other volition, which has only some indirect concern with the duty 
required, cannot excuse for the want of that good will itself, which is command- 
ed ; being not the thing which answers and fulfils the command, and being wholly 
destitute of the virtue which the command seeks. 

Further to illustrate this matter. — If a child has a most excellent father, that 
has ever treated him with fatherly kindness and tenderness, and has every way 
in the highest degree merited his love and dutiful regard, being withal ver) 


wealthy ; but the son is of so vile a disposition, that he inveterately hates his 
father ; and yet, apprehending that his hatred of him is like to prove his ruin, 
by bringing him finally to poverty and abject circumstances, through his father's 
disinheriting him, or otherwise ; which is exceeding cross to his avarice and 
ambition ; he therefore wishes it were otherwise : but yet, remaining under the 
invincible power of his vile and malignant disposition, he continues still in his 
settled hatred of his father. Now, if such a son's indirect willingness to have 
love and honor towards his father, at all acquits or excuses before God, for his 
failing of actually exercising these dispositions towards him, which God requires, 
it must be on one of these accounts. (1.) Either that it answers and fulfils the 
command. But this it does not by the supposition ; because the thing com- 
manded is love and honor to his worthy, parent. If the command be proper and 
just, as is supposed, then it obliges to the thing commanded ; and so nothing else 
but that can answer the obligation. Or, (2.) It must be at least, because there 
is that virtue or goodness in his indirect willingness, that is equivalent to the 
virtue required ; and so balances or countervails it, and makes up for the want 
of it. But that also is contrary to the supposition. The willingness the son has 
merely from regard to money and honor, has no goodness in it, to countervail 
the want of the pious filial respect required. 

Sincerity and reality, in that indirect willingness which has been spoken of, 
does not make it the better. That which is real and hearty is often called sin- 
cere ; whether it be in virtue or vice. Some persons are sincerely bad ; others 
are sincerely good ; and others may be sincere and hearty in things, which are 
in their own nature indifferent ; as a man may be sincerely desirous of eating 
when he is hungry. But a being sincere, hearty and in good earnest, is no vir- 
tue, unless it be in a thing that is virtuous. A man may be sincere and hearty 
in joining a crew of pirates, or a gang of robbers. When the devils cried out, 
and besought Christ not to torment them, it was no mere pretence ; they were 
very hearty in their desires not to be tormented ; but this did not make their 
Will or desires virtuous. — And if men have sincere desires, which are in their 
kind and nature no better, it can be no excuse for the want of any required 

And as a man's being sincere in such an indirect desire or willingness to do 
his duty, as has been mentioned, cannot excuse for the want of performance ; 
so it is with endeavors arising from such a willingness. The endeavors can have 
no more goodness in them, than the Will which they are the effect and ex- 
pression of. And, therefore, however sincere and real, and however great a 
person's endeavors are ; yea, though they should be to the utmost of his ability ; 
unless the Will which they proceed from be truly good and virtuous, they can 
be of no avail, influence or weight to any purpose whatsoever, in a moral sense 
or respect. That which is not truly virtuous, in God's sight, is looked upon, by 
him, as good for nothing ; and so can be of no value, weight or influence in his 
account, to recommend, satisfy, excuse or make up for any moral defect. For 
nothing can counterbalance evil, but good. If evil be in one scale, and we put 
a great deal into the other, sincere and earnest desires, and many and great en- 
deavors ; yet, if there be no real goodness in all, there is no weight in it ; and 
so it does nothing towards balancing the real weight, which is in the opposite 
scale. It is only like the subtracting a thousand noughts from before a real 
number, which leaves the sum just as it was. 

Indeed such endeavors may have a negatively good influence. Those things, 
which have no positive virtue have no positive moral influence ; yet they may be an 
occasion of persons avoiding some positive evils. As if a man were in the water 


with a neighbor, that he had ill will to, who could not swim, holding him by his 
hand ; which neighbor was much in debt to him ; and should be tempted to let 
him sink and drown ; but should refuse to comply with the temptation ; not 
from love to his neighbor, but from the love of money, and because by his drown- 
ing he should lose his debt ; that which he does in preserving his neighbor from 
drowning, is nothing good in the sight of God ; yet hereby he avoids the greater 
guilt that would have been contracted, if he had designedly let his neighbor sink 
and perish. But when Arminians, in their disputes with Calvinists, insist so 
much on sincere desires and endeavors, as what must excuse men, must be ac- 
cepted of God, &c, it is manifest they have respect to some positive moral 
weight or influence of those desires and endeavors. Accepting, justifying or 
excusing on the account of sincere honest endeavors (as they are called), and 
men's doing what they can, &c, has relation to some moral value, something 
that is accepted as good, and as such, countervailing some defect. 

But there is a great and unknown deceit arising from the ambiguity of the 
phrase, sincere endeavors. Indeed there is a vast indistinctness and unnxedness 
in most, or at least very many of the terms used to express things pertaining to 
moral and spiritual matters. Whence arise innumerable mistakes, strong preju- 
dices, inextricable confusion, and endless controversy. 

The word sincere, is most commonly used to signify something that is good : 
men are habituated to understand by it the same as honest and upright ; which 
terms excite an idea of some good thing in the strictest and highest sense ; good in 
the sight of him, who sees not only the outward appearance, but the heart. And, 
therefore, men think that if a person be sincere, he will certainly be accepted. 
If it be said that any one is sincere in his endeavors, this suggests to men's minds 
as much, as that his heart and Will is good, that there is no defect of duty, as to 
virtuous inclination ; he honestly and uprightly desires and endeavors to do as he 
\s required ; and this leads them to suppose, that it would be very hard and un- 
reasonable to punish him, only because he is unsuccessful in his endeavors, the 
thing endeavored being beyond his power. — Whereas it ought to be observed, 
that the word sincere has these different significations : 

1. Sincerity, as the word is sometimes used, signifies no more than reality 
of Will and endeavor, with respect to any thing that is professed or pretended ; 
without any consideration of the nature of the principle or aim, whence this real 
Will and true endeavor arises. If a man has some real desire to obtain a thing, 
either direct or indirect, or does really endeavor after a thing, he is said sincerely to 
desire or endeavor it ; without any consideration of the goodness or virtuousness of 
the principle he acts from, or any excellency or worthiness of the end he acts for. 
Thus a man who is kind to his neighbor's wife, who is sick and languishing, and 
very helpful in her case, makes a show of desiring and endeavoring her restora- 
tion to health and vigor ; and not only makes such a show, but there is a reality 
in his pretence, he does heartily and earnestly desire to have her health restored, 
and uses his true and utmost endeavors for it ; he is said sincerely to desire and 
endeavor it ; because he does so truly or really ; though perhaps the principle 
he acts from, is no other than a vile and scandalous passion ; having lived in 
adultery with her, he earnestly desires to have her health and vigor restored, that 
he may return to his criminal pleasures with her. Or, 

2. By sincerity is meant, not merely a reality of Will and endeavor of some 
sort or other, and from some consideration or other, but a virtuous sincerity. 
That is, that in the performance of those particular acts, that are the matter of 
virtue or duty, there be not only the matter, but the form and essence of virtue, 
consisting in the aim that governs the act, and the principle exercised in it. 


There is not only the reality of the act, that is as it were the body of the duty ; 
but also the soul, which should properly belong to such a body. In this sense, 
a man is said to be sincere, when he acts with a pure intention ; not from 
sinister views, or by-ends : he not only in reality desires and seeks the thing 
to be done, or qualification to be obtained, for some end or other ; but he wills 
the thing directly and properly, as neither forced nor bribed ; the virtue of the 
thing is properly the object of the Will. 

In the former sense, a man is said to be sincere, in opposition to a mere 
pretence, and show of the particular thing to be done or exhibited, without any 
real desire or endeavor at all. In the latter sense, a man is said to be sincere, 
in opposition to that show of virtue there is in merely doing the matter of duty, 
without the reality of the virtue itself in the soul, and the essence of it, which 
there is a show of. A man may be sincere in the former sense, and yet in the 
latter be in the sight of God, who searches the heart, a vile hypocrite. 

In the latter kind of sincerity only, is there any thing truly valuable or ac- 
ceptable in the sight of God. And this is the thing, which in Scripture is 
called sincerity, uprightness, integrity, truth in the inward parts, and a being 
of a perfect heart. And if there be such a sincerity, and such a degree of it as 
there ought to be, and there be any thing further that the man is not able to 
perform, or which does not prove to be connected with his sincere desires and 
endeavors, the man is wholly excused and acquitted in the sight of God ; his 
Will shall surely be accepted for his deed ; and such a sincere Will and en- 
deavor is all that in strictness is required of him, by any command of God. 
But as to the other kind of sincerity' of desires and endeavors, it having no vir- 
tue in it (as was observed before), can be of no avail before God, in any case, 
to recommend, satisfy, or excuse, and has no positive moral weight or influence 

Cowl. 1. Hence it may be inferred, that nothing in the reason and nature 
of things appears, from the consideration of any moral weight of that former 
kind of sincerity, which has been spoken of, at all obliging us to believe, or 
leading us to suppose, that God has made any positive promises of salvation, 
or grace, or any saving assistance, or any spiritual benefit whatsoever, to any 
desires, prayers, endeavors, striving or obedience of those, who hitherto have no 
true virtue or holiness in their hearts ; though we should suppose all the sin- 
cerity, and the utmost degree of endeavor, that is possible to be in a person 
without holiness. 

Some object against God's requiring, as the condition of salvation, those 
holy exercises, which are the result of a supernatural renovation : such as a 
supreme respect to Christ, love to God, loving holiness for its own sake, &c, 
that these inward dispositions and exercises are above men's power, as they 
are by nature ; and therefore that we may conclude, that when men are brought 
to be sincere in their endeavors, and do as well as they can, they are accepted ', 
and that this must be all that God requires, in order to men's being received as 
the objects of his favor, and must be what God has appointed as the condition 
of salvation. Concerning which, I would observe, that in such a manner of 
speaking of men's being accepted, because they are sincere, and do as well as 
they can, there is evidently a supposition of some virtue, some degree of that 
which is truly good ; though it does not go so far as were to be wished. For 
if men do what they can, unless their so doing be from some good principle, 
disposition, or exercise of heart, some virtuous inclination or act of the Will ; 
their so doing what they can, is in some respects not a whit better than if they 
did nothing. In such a case, there is no more positive moral goodness in a 


man's doing what he can, than in a windmill's doing what it can ; because the 
action does no more proceed from virtue ; and there is nothing in such sincerity 
of endeavor, or doing what we can, that should render it any more a proper or 
fit recommendation to positive favor and acceptance, or the condition of any 
reward or actual benefit, than doing nothing ; for both the one and the other 
are alike nothing, as to any true moral weight or value. 

CoroL 2. Hence also it follows, that there is nothing that appears in the 
reason and nature of things, which can justly lead us to determine, that God 
will certainly give the necessary means of salvation, or some way or other be- 
stow true holiness and eternal life on those Heathen, who are sincere (in the 
sense above explained) in their endeavors to find out the Will of the Deity, 
and to please him, according to their light, that they may escape his future 
displeasure and wrath, and obtain happiness in the future state through his 


Liberty of Indifference, not only not necessary to Virtue, but utterly inconsistent 
with it ; and all, either virtuous or vicious Habits or Inclinations, inconsistent with 
Arminian Notions of Liberty and moral Agency. 

To suppose such a freedom of Will, as Arminians talk of, to be requisite 
to virtue and vice, is many ways contrary to common sense. 

If indifference belongs to liberty of Will, as Arminians suppose, and it be 
essential to a virtuous action, that it be performed in a state of liberty, as they 
also suppose ; it will follow, that it is essential to a virtuous action, that it be 
performed in a state of indifference ; and if it be performed in a state of indiffer- 
ence, then doubtless it must be performed in the time of indifference. And so 
it will follow, that in order to the virtuousness of an act, the heart must be in- 
different in the time of the performance of that act, and the more indifferent and 
cold the heart is with relation to the act which is performed, so much the better ; 
because the act is performed with so much the greater liberty. But is this 
agreeable to the light of nature ? Is it agreeable to the notions, which man- 
kind, in all ages, have of virtue, that it lies in that, which is contrary to in- 
difference, even in the tendency and inclination of the heart to virtuous action ; 
and that the stronger the inclination, and so the further from indifference, the 
more virtuous the heart, and so much more praiseworthy the act which proceeds 
from it ? 

If we should suppose (contrary to what has been before demonstrated) that 
there may be an act of Will in a state of indifference ; for instance, this act, 
viz., the Will's determining to put itself out of a state of indifference, and give 
itself a preponderation one way, then it would follow, on Arminian principles, 
that this act or determination of the Will is that alone wherein virtue consists, 
because this only is performed, while the mind remains in a state of indifference, 
and so in a state of liberty : for when once the mind is put out of its equilib- 
rium, it is no longer in such a state ; and therefore all the acts, which follow 
afterwards, proceeding from bias, can have the nature neither of virtue nor vice. 
Or if the thing, which the Will can do, while yet in a state of indifference, and 
so of liberty, be only to suspend acting, and determine to take the matter into 
consideration, then this determination is that alone wherein virtue consists, and 


not proceeding to action after the scale is turned by consideration. So that it 
will follow, from these principles, that all that is done after the mind, by any 
means, is once out of its equilibrium and already possessed by an inclination, 
and arising from that inclination, has nothing of the nature of virtue or vice, 
and is worthy of neither blame nor praise. But how plainly contrary is this 
to the universal sense of mankind, and to the notion they have of sincerely vir- 
tuous actions ? Which is, that they are actions, which proceed from a heart 
well disposed and inclined ; and the stronger, and the more fixed and determin- 
ed the good disposition of the heart, the greater the sincerity of virtue, and so the 
more of the truth and reality of it. But if there be any acts, which are done 
in a state of equilibrium, or spring immediately from perfect indifference and 
coldness of heart, they cannot arise from any good principle or disposition 
in the heart ; and, consequently, according to common sense, have no sincere 

foodness in them, having no virtue of heart in them. To have a virtuous 
eart, is to have a heart that favors virtue, and is friendly to it, and not one 
perfectly cold and indifferent about it. 

And besides, the actions that are done in a state of indifference, or that arise 
immediately out of such a state, cannot be virtuous, because, by the supposition, 
they are not determined by any preceding choice. For if there be preceding 
choice, then choice intervenes between the act and the state of indifference ; 
which is contrary to the supposition of the act's arising immediately out of in- 
difference. But those acts which are not determined by preceding choice, can- 
not be virtuous or vicious by Arminian principles, because they are not deter- 
mined by the Will. • So that neither one way, nor the other, can any actions be 
virtuous or vicious, according to Arminian principles. If the action be deter- 
mined by a preceding act of choice, it cannot be virtuous ; because the action is 
not done in a state of indifference, nor does immediately arise from such a state; 
and so is not done in a state of liberty. If the action be not determined by a 
preceding act of choice, then it cannot be virtuous ; because then the Will is 
not self-determined in it. So that it is made certain, that neither virtue nor vice 
can ever find any place in the universe. 

Moreover, that it is necessary to a virtuous action, that it be performed in a 
state of indifference, under a notion of that being a state of liberty, is contrary 
to common sense ; as it is a dictate of common sense, that indifference itself, in 
many cases, is vicious, and so to a high degree. As if when I see my neigh- 
bor or near friend, and one who has in the highest degree merited of me, in ex- 
treme distress, and ready to perish, I find an indifference in my heart with res- 
pect to any thing proposed to be done, which I can easily do, for his relief. So 
if it should be proposed to me to blaspheme God, or kill my father, or do num- 
berless other things, which might be mentioned, the being indifferent, for a mo- 
ment, would be highly vicious and vile. 

And it may be further observed, that to suppose this liberty of indifference 
is essential to virtue and vice, destroys the great difference of degrees of {he 
guilt of different crimes, and takes away the heinousness of the most flagitious, 
horrid iniquities ; such as adultery, bestiality, murder, perjury, blasphemy, &c. 
For, according to these principles, there is no harm at all in having the mind in 
a state of perfect indifference with respect to these crimes : nay, it is absolutely 
necessary in order to any virtue in avoiding them, or vice in doing them. But 
for the mind to be in a state of indifference with respect to them, is to be next 
door to doing them : it is then infinitely near to choosing, and so committing 
the fact : for equilibrium is the next step to a degree of preponderation ; and 
one, even the least degree of preponderation (all things considered), is choice. 


And not only so, but for the Will to be in a state of perfect equilibrium with 
respect to such crimes, is for the mind to be in such a state, as to be full as 
likely to choose them as to refuse them, to do them as to omit them. And if 
our minds must be in such a state, wherein it is as near to choosing as refusing, 
and wherein it must of necessity, according to the nature of things, be as likely 
to commit them, as to refrain from them ; where is the exceeding heinousness 
of choosing and committing them ? If there be no harm in often being in such 
a state, wherein the probability of doing and forbearing are exactly equal, there 
being an equilibrium, and no more tendency to one than the other ; then, ac- 
cording to the nature and laws of such a contingence, it may be expected, as 
an inevitable consequence of such a disposition of things, that we should choose 
them as often as reject them : that it should generally so fall out is necessary, 
as equality in the effect is the natural consequence of the equal tendency of the 
cause, or of the antecedent state of things from which the effect arises. Why 
then should we be so exceedingly to blame, if it does so fall out ? 

It is many ways apparent, that the Arminian scheme of liberty is utterly 
inconsistent with the being of any such things as either virtuous or vicious ha- 
bits or dispositions. If liberty of indifference be essential to moral agency, then 
there can be no virtue in any habitual inclinations of the heart ; which are con- 
trary to indifference, and imply in their nature the very destruction and exclu- 
sion of it. They suppose nothing can be virtuous, in which no liberty is exer- 
cised ; but how absurd is it to talk of exercising indifference under bias and 
preponderation ! 

And if self-determining power in the Will be necessary to moral agency, 
praise, blame, &c, then nothing done by the Will can be any further praise or 
blameworthy, than so far as the Will is moved, swayed and determined by itself, 
and the scales turned by the sovereign power the Will has over itself. And there- 
fore the Will must not be put out of its balance already, the preponderation 
must not be determined and effected beforehand; and so the self-determining act 
anticipated. Thus it appears another way, that habitual bias is inconsistent 
with that liberty, which Arminians suppose to be necessary to virtue or vice ; 
and so it follows, that habitual bias itself cannot be either virtuous or vicious. 

The same thing follows from their doctrine concerning the inconsistence ot 
necessity with liberty, praise, dispraise, &c. None will deny, that bias and in- 
clination may be so strong as to be invincible, and leave no possibility of the 
Will's determining contrary to it ; and so be attended with necessity. This 
Dr. Whitby allows concerning the Will of God, Angels, and glorified Saints, 
with respect to good ; and the Will of Devils with respect to evil. Therefore 
if necessity be inconsistent with liberty ; then, when fixed inclination is to such 
a degree of strength, it utterly excludes all virtue, vice, praise or blame. And 
if so, then the nearer habits are to this strength, the more do they impede lib- 
erty, and so diminish praise and blame. If very strong habits destroy liberty, 
the less ones proportionably hinder it, according to their degree of strength. 
And therefore it will follow, that then is the act most virtuous or vicious, when 
performed without any inclination or habitual bias at all ; because it is then 
performed with most liberty. 

Every prepossessing, fixed bias on the mind, brings a degree of moral ina- 
bility for the contrary; because so far as the mind is biassed and prepossessed 
so much hmderance is there of the contrary. And therefore if moral inability be 
inconsistent with moral agency, or the nature of virtue and vice, then, so far as 
there is any such thing as evil disposition of heart, or habitual depravity of in- 
clination; whether covetousness, pride, malice, cruelty, or whatever else; so 


much the more excusable persons are ; so much the less have their evil acts of 
this kind the nature of vice. And on the contrary, whatever excellent disposi- 
tions and inclinations they have, so much are they the less virtuous. 

It is evident that no habitual disposition of heart, whether it be to a greater 
or less degree, can be in any degree virtuous or vicious ; or the actions which 
proceed from them at all praise or blameworthy. — Because, though we should 
suppose the habit not to be of such strength, as wholly to take away all moral 
ability and self-determining power ; or hinder but that, although the act be part- 
ly from bias, yet it may be in part from self-determination ; yet in this case, all 
that is from antecedent bias must be set aside, as of no consideration ; and in 
estimating the degree of virtue or vice, no more must be considered than what 
arises from self-determining power, without any influence of that bias, because 
liberty is exercised in no more ; so that all that is the exercise of habitual in- 
clination, is thrown away, as not belonging to the morality of the action. By 
which it appears, that no exercise of these habits, let them be stronger or 
weaker, can ever have any thing of the nature of either virtue or vice. 

Here if any one should say, that notwithstanding all these things, there may 
be the nature of virtue and vice in habits of the mind ; because these habits 
may be the effects of those acts, wherein the mind exercised liberty ; that how- 
ever the forementioned reasons will prove that no habits, which are natural, or 
that are born or created with us can be either virtuous or vicious ; yet they will 
not prove this of habits, which have been acquired and established by repeated 
free acts. 

To such an objector I would say, that this evasion will not at all help the 
matter. For if freedom of Will be essential to the very nature of virtue and 
vice, then there is no virtue or vice, but only in that very thing, wherein this 
liberty is exercised. If a man in one or more things, that he does, exer- 
cises liberty, and then by those acts is brought into such circumstances, that 
his Liberty ceases, and there follows a long series of acts or events that come to 
pass necessarily ; those consequent acts are not virtuous or vicious, rewardable 
or punishable ; but only the free acts that established this necessity ; for in 
them alone was the man free. The following effects, that are necessary, have 
no more of the nature of virtue or vice, than health or sickness of body have pro- 
perly the nature of virtue or vice, being the effects of a course of free acts of 
temperance or intemperance ; or than the good qualities of a clock are of the 
nature of virtue, which are the effects of free acts of the artificer ; or the good- 
ness and sweetness of the fruits of a garden are moral virtues, being the 
effects of the free and faithful acts of the gardener. If liberty be absolutely 
requisite to the morality of actions and necessity wholly inconsistent with 
it, as Arminians greatly insist ; then no necessary effects whatsoever, let 
the cause be ever so good or bad, can be virtuous or vicious ; but the virtue* or 
vice must be only in the free cause. Agreeably to this, Dr. Whitby supposes, 
the necessity that attends the good and evil habits of the saints in heaven, and 
damned in hell, which are the consequence of their free acts in their state of 
probation, are not rewardable or punishable. 

On the whole, it appears, that if the notions of Arminians concerning lib- 
erty and moral agency be true, it will follow, that there is no virtue in any 
such habits or qualities as humility, meekness, patience, mercy, gratitude, gen- 
erosity, heavenly-mindedness ; nothing at all praiseworthy in loving Christ 
above father and mother, wife and children, or our own lives ; or in delight in 
holiness, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, love to enemies, univer- 
sal benevolence to mankind : and on the other hand, there is nothing at all 
Vol. II. 15 



Ticious, or worthy of dispraise, in the most sordid, beastly, malignant, devilish 
dispositions; in being ungrateful, profane, habitually hating God and things 
sacred and holy ; or in being most treacherous, envious, and cruel towards men. 
For all these things are dispositions and inclinations of the heart. And in 
short there is no such thing as any virtuous or vicious quality of mind ; no 
such thin* as inherent virtue and holiness, or vice and sm : and the stronger 
those habTts or dispositions are, which used to be called virtuous and vicious, the 
further they are from being so indeed ; the more violent men's lusts are, the 
more fixed their pride, envy, ingratitude and maliciousness, still the further are 
thev from being blameworthy. If there be a man that by his own repeated 
acts or by any other means, is come to be of the most hellish disposition, des- 
perately inclined to treat his neighbors with injuriousness, contempt and 
malignity : the further they should be from any disposition to be angry with him, 
or in the least to blame him. So, on the other hand, if there be a person, who 
is of a most excellent spirit, strongly inclining him to the most amiable actions, 
admirably meek, benevolent, &c, so much is he further from any thing reward- 
able or commendable. On which principles, the man Jesus Christ was very far 
from being praiseworthy for those acts of holiness and kindness, which he 
performed, these propensities being strong in his heart. And above all, the 
infinitely holy and gracious God is infinitely remote from any thing commenda- 
ble, his good inclinations being infinitely strong, and He, therefore, at the 
utmost possible distance from being at liberty. And in all cases, the stronger 
the inclinations of any are to virtue, and the more they love it, the less virtuous 
they are ; and the more they love wickedness, the less vicious. — Whether these 
things are agreeable to Scripture, let every Christian, and every man who has 
read the Bible, judge : and whether they are agreeable to common sense, let 
every one judge, that has human understanding in exercise. 

And, if we pursue these principles, we shall find that virtue and vice are 
wholly excluded out of the world ; and that there never was, nor ever can be 
any such thing as one or the other ; either in God, angels, or men. No pro- 
pensity, disposition or habit can be virtuous or vicious, as has been shown ; 
because they, so far as they take place, destroy the freedom of the Will, the 
foundation of all moral agency, and exclude all capacity of either virtue or vice. 
— And if habits and dispositions themselves be not virtuous nor vicious, neither 
can the exercise of these dispositions be so ; for the exercise of bias is not the 
exercise oifree self- determining Will, and so there is no exercise of liberty in 
it. Consequently, no man is virtuous or vicious, either in being well or ill dis- 
posed, nor in acting from a good or bad disposition. And whether this bias or 
disposition, be habitual or not, if it exists but a moment before the act of Will, 
which is the effect of it, it alters not the case, as to the necessity of the efFect 
Or if there be no previous disposition at all, either habitual or occasional, that 
determines the act, then it is not choice that determines it : it is therefore a 
contingence, that happens to the man, arising from nothing in him ; and is ne- 
cessary, as to any inclination or choice of his ; and, therefore, cannot make him 
either the better or worse, any more than a tree is better than other trees, 
because it oftener happens to be lit upon by a swan or nightingale ; or a rock 
more vicious than other rocks, because rattlesnakes have happened oftener to 
crawl over it. So that there is no virtue nor vice in good or bad dispositions, 
either fixed or transient ; nor any virtue or vice in acting from any good or 
bad previous inclination ; nor yet any virtue or vice, in acting wholly without 
any previous inclination. Where then shall we find room for virtue or vice ? 




Arminian Notions of moral Agency inconsistent with all influence of Motive and In- 
ducement, in either virtuous or vicious Actions. 

As Arminian notions of that liberty, which is essential to virtue or vice, 
are inconsistent with common sense, in their being inconsistent with all virtuous 
and vicious habits and dispositions ; so they are no less so in their inconsistency 
with all influence of motives in moral actions. 

It is equally against those notions of liberty of Will, whether there be, 
previous to the act of choice, a preponderancy of the inclination, or a prepon- 
derancy of those circumstances, which have a tendency to move the inclination. 
And, indeed, it comes to just the same thing ; to say, the circumstances of the 
mind are such as tend to sway and turn its inclination one way, is the same 
thing as to say, the inclination of the mind, as under such circumstances, tends 
that way. 

Or if any think it most proper to say, that motives do alter the inclination, 
and give a new bias to the mind, it will not alter the case, as to the present 
argument. For if motives operate bygiving the mind an inclination, then they 
operate by destroying the mind's indifference, and laying it under a bias. But 
to do this, is to destroy the Arminian freedom : it is not to leave the Will to its 
own self-determination, but to bring it into subjection to the power of something 
extrinsic, which operates upon it, sways and determines it, previous to its own 
determination. So that what is done from motive, cannot be either virtuous or 
vicious. And besides, if the acts of the Will are excited by motives, those mo- 
tives are the causes of those acts of the Will ; which makes the acts of the Will 
necessary ; as effects necessarily follow the efficiency of the cause. And if the 
influence and power of the motive causes the volition, then the influence of the 
motive determines volition, and volition does not determine itself; and so is not 
free, in the sense of Arminian a (as has been largely shown already), and con- 
sequently can be neither virtuous nor vicious. 

The supposition, which has already been taken notice of as an insufficient 
evasion in other cases, would be, in like manner, impertinently alleged in this 
case ; namely, the supposition that liberty consists in a power of suspending 
action for the present, in order to deliberation. If it should be said, though it 
be true, that the Will is under a necessity of finally following the strongest 
motive ; yet it may, for the present, forbear to act upon the motive presented, 
till there has been opportunity thoroughly to consider it, and compare its real 
weight with the merit of other motives. I answer as follows : 

Here again, it must be remembered, that if determining thus to suspend and 
consider, be that act of the Will, wherein alone liberty is exercised, then in this 
all virtue and vice must consist; and the acts that follow this consideration, and 
are the effects of it, being necessary; are no more virtuous or vicious than some 
good or bad events, which happen when men are fast asleep, and are the con- 
sequences of what they did when they were awake. Therefore, I would here 
observe two things : 

1. To suppose, that all virtue and vice, jn every case, consists in determining, 
whether to take time for consideration or not, is not agreeable to common sense. 
For, according to such a supposition, the most horrid crimes, adultery, murder 


sodomy, blasphemy, &c, do not at all consist in the horrid nature of the things 
themselves, but only in the neglect of thorough consideration before they were 
perpetrated, which brings their viciousness to a small matter, and makes all 
crimes equal. If it be said, that neglect of consideration, when such heinous 
evils are proposed to choice, is worse than in other cases : I answer, this is 
inconsistent, as it supposes the very thing to be, which, at the same time, is 
supposed not to be ; it supposes all moral evil, all viciousness and heinousness. 
does not consist merely in the want of consideration. It supposes some crimes 
in themselves, in their own nature, to be more heinous than others, antecedent to 
consideration or inconsideration, which lays the person under a previous obliga- 
tion to consider in some cases more than others. 

2. If it were so, that all virtue and vice, in every case, consisted only in the 
act of the Will, whereby it determines whether to consider or no, it would not 
alter the case in the least, as to the present argument. For still in this act of the 
Will on this determination, it is induced by some motive, and necessarily follows 
the strongest motive ; and so is necessary, even in that act wherein alone it is 
either virtuous or vicious. 

One thing more I would observe, concerning the inconsistence of Arminian 
notions of moral agency with the influence of motives. — I suppose none will 
deny, that it is possible for motives to be set before the mind so powerful, and 
exhibited in so strong a light, and under so advantageous circumstances, as fo be 
invincible ; and such as the mind cannot but yield to. In this case, Jirminians 
will doubtless say, liberty is destroyed. And if so, then if motives are exhibited 
with half so much power, they hinder liberty in proportion to their strength, and 
go half-way towards destroying it. If a thousand degrees of motive abolish all 
liberty, then five hundred take it half away. If one degree of the influence of 
motive does not at all infringe or diminish liberty, then no more do two degrees; 
for nothing doubled, is still .nothing. And if two degrees do not diminish the 
Will's liberty, no more do four, eight, sixteen, or six thousand. For nothing 
multiplied ever so much, comes to but nothing. If there be nothing in the 
nature of motive or moral suasion, that is at all opposite to liberty, then the 
greatest degree of it cannot hurt liberty. But if there be any thing in the nature 
of the thing, that is against liberty, then the least degree of it hurts it in some 
degree ; and consequently hurts and diminishes virtue. If invincible motives, 
to that action which is good, take away all the freedom of the act, and so all 
the virtue of it ; then the more forcible the motives are, so much the worse, so 
much the' less virtue ; and the weaker the motives are, the better for the cause 
of virtue ; and none is best of all. 

Now let it be considered, whether these things are agreeable to common 
sense. If it should be allowed, that there are some instances wherein the soul 
chooses without any motive, what virtue can there be in such a choice 1 I am 
sure, there is no prudence or wisdom in it. Such a choice is made for no good 
end ; for it is for no end at all. If it were for any end, the view of the end 
would be the motive exciting to the act ; and if the act be for no good end, and 
so from no good aim, then there is no good intention in it ; and, therefore, 
according to all our natural notions of virtue, no more virtue in it than in the 
motion of the smoke, which is driven to and fro by the wind without any aim 
or end in the thing moved, and which knows not whither, nor why and where- 
fore, it is moved. 

Corol. 1. By these things it ajjpears, that the argument against the Calvin- 
tsts, taken from the use of counsels, exhortations, invitations, expostulations, 
&c, so much insisted on by Jirminians, is truly against themselves. For these 


things can operate no other way to any good effect, than as in them is exhibited 
motive and inducement, tending to excite and determine the acts of the Will. 
But it follows, on their principles, that the acts of Will excited by such causes, 
cannot be virtuous ; because so far as they are from these, they are not from 
the Will's self-determining power. Hence it will follow, that it is not worth 
the while to offer any arguments to persuade men to any virtuous volition or 
voluntary action ; it is in vain to set before them the wisdom and amiableness 
of ways of virtue, or the odiousness and folly of ways of vice. This notion of 
liberty and moral agency frustrates all endeavors to draw men to virtue by 
instruction or persuasion, precept or example : for though these things may 
induce men to what is materially virtuous, yet at the same time they take away 
the form of virtue, because they destroy liberty ; as they, by their own power, 
put the Will out of its equilibrium, determine and turn the scale, and take the 
work of self-determining power out of its hands. And the clearer the instruc- 
tions are that are given, the more powerful the arguments that are used, and 
the more moving the persuasions or examples, the more likely they are to 
frustrate their own design ; because they have so much the greater tendency to 
put the Will out of its balance, to hinder its freedom of self-determination ; and 
so to exclude the very form of virtue, and the essence of whatsoever is praise- 

So it clearly follows, from these principles, that God has no hand in any 
man's virtue, nor does at all promote it, either by a physical or moral influence ; 
that none of the moral methods He uses with men to promote virtue in the 
world, have tendency to the attainment of that end ; that all the instructions, 
which he has given to men, from the beginning of the world to this day, by 
prophets, apostles, or by his Son Jesus Christ ; that all his counsels, invitations, 
promises, threatenings, warnings and expostulations; that all means he has 
used with men, in ordinances, or providences ; yea, all influences of his Spirit, 
ordinary and extraordinary, have had no tendency to excite any one virtuous act 
of the mind, *or to promote any thing morally good or commendable, in any 
respect. For there is no way that these or any other means can promote virtue, 
but one of these three. Either ( 1,) by a physical operation on the heart. But 
all effects that are wrought in men this way, have no virtue in them, by the 
concurring voice of all Arminians. Or, (2,) morally, by exhibiting motives to 
the understanding, to excite good acts in the Will. But it has been demon- 
strated, that volitions, which are excited by motives, are necessary, and not 
excited by a self-moving power ; and therefore, by their principles, there is no 
virtue in them. Or, (3,) by merely giving the Will an opportunity to deter- 
mine itself concerning the objects proposed, either to choose or reject, by its 
own uncaused, unmoved, uninfluenced self-determination. And if this be all, 
then all those means do no more to promote virtue than vice : for they do 
nothing but give the Will opportunity to determine itself either way, either 
to good or bad, without laying it under any bias to either : and so there is 
really as much of an opportunity given to determine in favor of evil, as of 

Thus that horrid blasphemous consequence will certainly follow from the 
Arminian doctrine, which they charge on others ; namely, that God acts an 
inconsistent part in using so many counsels, warnings, invitations, entreaties, &c. 
with sinners, to induce them to forsake sin and turn to the ways of virtue : and 
that all are insincere and fallacious. It will follow, from their doctrine, that 
God does these things when he knows, at the same time that they have no 
manner of tendency to promote the effect he seems to aim at ; yea, knows that 


if they have any influence, this very influence will be inconsistent with such an ef- 
fect, and will prevent it. But what an imputation of insincerity would this 
fix on Him, who is infinitely holy and true !— So that theirs is the doctrine, 
which, if pursued in its consequences, does horribly reflect on the Most High, 
and fix on Him the charge of hypocrisy ; and not the doctrine of the Calvinists ; 
according to their frequent, and vehement exclamations and invectives. 

Corol 2. From what has been observed in this section, it again appears, 
that Arminian principles and notions, when fairly examined and pursued in 
their demonstrable consequences, do evidently shut all virtue out of the world, 
and make it impossible that there should ever be any such thing, in any case ; 
or that any such thing should ever be conceived of. For, by these principles, the 
very notion of virtue or vice implies absurdity and contradiction. — I or it is 
absurd in itself, and contrary to common sense, to suppose a virtuous act of mind 
without any good intention or aim ; and, by their principles, it is absurd to suppose 
a virtuous act with a good intention or aim ; for to act for an end, is to act from a 
motive. So that if we rely on these principles, there can be no virtuous act 
with a good design and end ; and it is self-evident, there can be none without : 
consequently there can be no virtuous act at all. 

Corol. 3. It is manifest, that Arminian notions of moral agency, and the 
being of a faculty of Will, cannot consist together ; and that if there be any 
such thing as either a virtuous or vicious act it cannot be an act of the Will ; 
no Will can be at all concerned in it. For that act which is performed without 
inclination, without motive, without end, must be performed without any con- 
cern of the Will. To suppose an act of the Will without these, implies a 
contradiction. If the soul in its act has no motive or end ; then, in that act (as 
was observed before) it seeks nothing, goes after nothing, exerts no inclination 
to any thing ; and this implies, that in that act it desires nothing, and chooses 
nothing ; so that there is no act of choice in the case : and that is as much as 
to say, there is no act of Will in the case. Which very effectually shuts all 
vicious and virtuous acts out of the universe ; inasmuch as, according to this, 
there can be no vicious or virtuous act wherein the Will is concerned ; and ac- 
cording to the plainest dictates of reason, and the light of nature, and also the 
principles of Arminians themselves, there can be no virtuous or vicious act 
wherein the Will is not concerned. And therefore there is no room for any 
virtuous or vicious acts at all. 

Corol. 4. If none of the moral actions of intelligent beings are influenced 
by either previous inclination or motive, another strange thing will follow; and 
this is, that God not only cannot foreknow any of the future moral actions of his 
creatures, but he can make no conjecture, can give no probable guess concerning 
them. For all conjecture, in things of this nature, must depend on some dis- 
cerning or apprehension of these two things, previous disposition and motive, 
which, as has been observed, Arminian notions of moral agency, in their real 
Consequence, altogether exclude. 





The Essence of the Virtue and Vice of Dispositions of the Hean\ and Acts of the WiL 
lies not in their Cause, but their Nature. 

One main foundation of the reasons which are brought to establish the 
forementioned notions of liberty, virtue, vice, &c, is a supposition, that the vir- 
tuousness of the dispositions, or acts of the Will, consists, not in the nature of 
these dispositions or acts, but wholly in the origin or cause of them : so that if the 
disposition of the mind, or act of the Will, be ever so good, yet if the cause of 
the disposition or act be not our virtue, there is nothing virtuous or praiseworthy 
in it ; and, on the contrary, if the Will, in its inclination or acts, be ever so 
bad, yet, unless it arises from something that is our vice or fault, there is nothing 
vicious or blameworthy in it. Hence their grand objection and pretended 
demonstration, or self-evidence, against any virtue and commend ableness, or 
vice and blameworthiness, of those habits or acts of the Will, which are not 
from some virtuous or vicious determination of the Will itself. 

Now if this matter be well considered, it will appear to be altogether a mis- 
take, yea, a gross absurdity ; and that it is most certain, that if there be any 
such things as a virtuous or vicious disposition, or volition of mind, the virtuous- 
ness or viciousness of them consists, not in the origin or cause of these things, 
but in the nature of them. 

If the essence of virtuousness or commendableness, and of viciousness or 
fault, does not lie in the nature of the dispositions or acts of mind, which are 
said to be our virtue or our fault, but in their cause, then it is certain it lies no- 
where at all. Thus for instance, if the vice of a vicious act of Will lies not in the 
nature of the act, but the cause ; so that its being of a bad nature will not make 
it at all our fault, unless it arises from some faulty determination of ours, as 
its cause, or something in us that is our fault : then, for the same reason neither 
can the viciousness of that cause lie in the nature of the thing itself, but in its 
cause : that evil determination of ours is not our fault, merely because it is of 
a bad nature, unless it arises from some cause in us that is our fault. And when 
we are come to this higher cause, still the reason of the thing holds good ; 
though this cause be of a bad nature, yet we are not at all to blame on that ac- 
count, unless it arises from something faulty in us. Nor yet can blameworthiness 
lie in the nature of this cause, but in the cause of that. And thus we must 
drive faultiness back from step to step, from a lower cause to a higher, in infini- 
tum : and that is thoroughly to banish it from the world, and to allow it no 
possibility of existence anywhere in the universality of things. On these prin- 
ciples, vice, or moral evil, cannot consist in any thing that is an effect ; because 
fault does not consist in the nature of things, but in their cause ; as well as be- 
cause effects are necessary, being unavoidably connected with their cause : 
therefore the cause only is to blame. And so it follows, that faultiness can lie 


only in that cause, which M a cause only, and no effect 01 any thing. Nor yet 
can it lie in this ; for then it must lie in the nature of the thing itsell ; not in its 
beincr from any determination of ours, nor any thing faulty in us which is the 
cause, nor indeed from any cause at all ; for, by the supposition, it is no effect, 
and has no cause. And thus, he that will maintain, it is not the nature of habits 
or acts of Will that makes them virtuous or faulty, but the cause, must immedi- 
ately run himself out of his own assertion ; and in maintaining it, will insensibly 
contradict and deny it. . . . 

This is certain, that if effects are vicious and faulty, not trom their nature, 01 
from any thing inherent in them, but because they are from a bad cause, it must 
be on account of the badness of the cause and so on account of the nature of the 
cause : a bad effect in the Will must be bad, because the cause is bad, or of an 
evil nature, or has badness as a quality inherent in it : and a good effect in the 
Will must be good, by reason of the goodness of the cause, or its being of a good 
kind and nature. And if this be what is meant, the very supposition of fault and 
praise lying not in the nature of the thing, but the cause, contradicts itself, and 
does at least resolve the essence of virtue and vice into the nature of things, and 
supposes it originally to consist in that. — And if a caviller has a mind to run 
from the absurdity, by saying, " No, the fault of the thing, which is the cause, lies 
not in this, that the cause itself is of an evil nature, but that the cause is evil in 
that sense, that it is from another bad cause." Still the absurdity will follow 
him ; for, if so, then the cause before charged is at once acquitted, and all the 
blame must be laid to the higher cause, and must consist in that's being evil or 
of an evil nature. So now, we are come again to lay the blame of the thing 
blameworthy, to the nature of the thing, and not to the cause. And if any is so 
foolish as to go higher still, and ascend from step to step, till he is come to that, 
which is the first cause concerned in the whole affair, and will say, all the blame 
lies in that ; then, at last, he must be forced to own, that the faultiness of the 
thing, which he supposes alone blameworthy, lies wholly in the nature of the 
thing, and not in the original or cause of it ; for the supposition is that it has 
no original, it is determined by no act of ours, is caused by nothing faulty in us, 
being absolutely without any cause. And so the race is at an end, but the evader 
is taken in his flight. 

It is agreeable to the natural notions of mankind, that moral evil, with its 
desert of dislike and abhorrence, and all its other ill deservings, consists in a 
certain deformity in the nature of certain dispositions of the heart, and acts ot 
the Will ; and not in the deformity of something else, diverse from the very thing 
:'tself, which deserves abhorrence, supposed to be the cause of it. W 7 hich would 
oe absurd, because that would be to suppose a thing, that is innocent and not 
wil, is truly evil and faulty, because another thing is evil. It implies a contra- 
liction ; for it would be to suppose the very thing, which is morally evil and 
Nameworthy, is innocent and not blameworthy ; but that something else, which 
.s its cause, is only to blame. To say, that vice does not consist in the thing 
which is vicious, but in its cause, is the same as to say, that vice does not consist 
in vice, but in that which produces it. 

It is true, a cause may be to blame, for being the cause of vice : it may be 
wickedness in the cause, that it produces wickedness. But it would imply a 
contradiction, to suppose that these two are the same individual wickedness. The 
wicked act of the cause in producing wickedness, is one wickedness ; and the 
wickedness produced, if there be any produced, is another. And therefore, the 
wickedness of the latter loes not lie in the former, but is distinct from it ; anc 1 
the wickedness of both lies in the evil nature of the things, which are wicked 


The thing, which makes sin hateful, is that by which it deserves punishment ; 
which is but the expression of hatred. And that, which renders virtue lovely, 
is the same with that, on the account of which, it is fit to receive praise and re- 
ward ; which are but the expressions of esteem and love. But that which makes 
vice hateful, is its hateful nature ; and that which renders virtue lovely, is its 
amiable nature. It is a certain beauty or deformity that is inherent in that good 
or evil Will, which is the soul of virtue and vice (and not in the occasion of it) 
which is their worthiness of esteem or disesteem, praise or dispraise, according to 
the common sense of mankind. If the cause or occasion of the rise of a hate- 
ful disposition or act of Will, be also hateful ; suppose another antecedent evil 
Will ; that is entirely another sin, and deserves punishment by itself, under a 
distinct consideration. There is worthiness of dispraise in the nature of an evil 
volition, and not wholly in some foregoing act, which is its cause ; otherwise 
the evil volition, which is the effect, is no moral evil, any more than sickness, or 
some other natural calamity, which arises from a cause morally evil. 

Thus, for instance, ingratitude is hateful and worthy of dispraise, according 
to common sense ; not because something as bad, or worse than ingratitude, was 
the cause that produced it ; but because it is hateful in itself, by its own inherent 
deformity. So the love of virtue is amiable, and worthy of praise, not merely 
because something else went before this love of virtue in our minds, which caused 
it to take place there ; for instance, our own choice ; we choose to love virtue, 
and, by some method or other, wrought ourselves into the love of it ; but because 
of the amiableriess and condecency of such a disposition and inclination of heart. 
If that was the case, that we did choose to love virtue, and so produced that love 
in ourselves, this choice itself could be no otherwise amiable or praiseworthy, 
than as love to virtue, or some other amiable inclination, was exercised and im- 
plied in it. If that choice was amiable at all, it must be so on account of some 
amiable quality in the nature of the choice. If we chose to love virtue, not in 
love to virtue, or any thing that was good, and exercised no sort of good dispo- 
sition in the choice, the choice itself was not virtuous, nor worthy of any praise, 
according to common sense, because the choice was not of a good nature. 

It may not be improper here to take notice of something said by an author, 
that has lately made a mighty noise in America. " A necessary holiness (says 
he*) is no holiness. Adam could not be originally created in righteousness and 
true holiness, because he must choose to be righteous, before he could be righteous. 
And therefore he must exist, he must be created, yea, must exercise thought and 
reflection, before he was righteous. ,, There is much more to the same effect in 
that place, and also in p. 437, 438, 439, 440. If these things are so, it will 
certainly follow, that the first choosing to be righteous is no righteous choice ; 
there is no righteousness or holiness in it ; because no choosing to be righteous 
goes before it. For he plainly speaks of choosing to be righteous, as what must 
go before righteousness : and that which follows the choice, being the effect of 
the choice, cannot be righteousness or holiness : for an effect is a thing necessary, 
and cannot prevent the influence or efficacy of its cause ; and therefore is un- 
avoidably dependent upon the cause : and he says, a necessary holiness is no 
holiness. So that neither can a choice of righteousness be righteousness or holi- 
ness, nor can any thing that is consequent on that choice, and the effect of it, be 
righteousness or holiness ; nor can any thing that is without choice, be righteous- 
ness or holiness. So that by his scheme, all righteousness and holiness is at once 
shut out of the world, and no door left open, by which it can ever possibly enter 
into the world. 

* Scrip. Doc. of Original Sin 180, 3d Edit. 

Vol. II. 16 


I suppose, the way that men came to entertain this absurd, inconsistent 
notion, with respect to internal inclinations and volitions themselves (or notions 
that imply it), viz., that the essence of their moral good or evil lies not in their 
nature, but their cause ; was, that it is indeed a very plain dictate of common 
sense, that it is so with respect to all outward actions, and sensible motions of 
the body ; that the moral good or evil of them does not lie at all in the motions 
themselves ; which, taken by themselves, are nothing of a moral nature ; and 
the essence of all the moral good or evil that concerns them, lies in those inter- 
nal dispositions and volitions, which are the cause of them. Now, being always 
used to determine this, without hesitation or dispute, concerning external actions ; 
which are the things, that in the common use of language are signified by such 
phrases as men's actions, or their doings ; hence, when they came to speak of 
volitions, and internal exercises of their inclinations, under the same denomina- 
tion of their actions, or what they do, they unwarily determined the case must also 
be the same with these, as with external actions ; not considering the vast 
difference in the nature of the case. 

If any shall still object and say, why is it not necessary that the cause should 
be considered, in order to determine whether any thing be worthy of blame or 
praise? Is it agreeable to reason and common sense, that a man is to be 
praised or blamed for that, which he is not the cause or author of, and has no 
hand in 1 

I answer, such phrases as being the cause, being the author, having a hand, 
and the like, are ambiguous. They are most vulgarly understood for being the 
designing, voluntary cause, or cause by antecedent choice ; and it is most cer- 
tain that men are not, in this sense, the causes or authors of the first act of their 
Wills, in any case ; as certain as any thing is, or ever can be ; for nothing can 
be more certain, than that a thing is not before it is, nor a thing of the same kind 
before the first thing of that kind ; and so no choice before the first choice. As 
the phrase, being the author, may be understood, not of being the producer by an 
antecedent act of Will ; but as a person may be said to be the author of the act 
of Will itself, by his being the immediate agent, or the being that is acting, 
or in exercise in that act ; if the phrase of being the author, is used to signify 
this, then doubtless common sense requires men's being the authors of their own 
acts of Will, in order to their being esteemed worthy of praise or dispraise, on 
account of them. And common sense teaches, that they must be the authors of 
external actions, in the former sense, namely, their being the causes of them by 
an act of Will or choice, in order to their being justly blamed or praised ; but 
it teaches no such thing with respect to the acts of the Will themselves. But 
this may appear more manifest by the things which will be observed in the fol- 
lowing section. 


The Falseness and Inconsistence of that metaphysical Notion of Action and Agency, 
which seems to be generally entertained by the Defenders of the Arminian Doctrine 
concerning Liberty, moral Agency, &c. 

One thing that is made very much a ground of argument and supposed 
demonstration by Arminians, in defence of the forementioned principles, concern- 
ing moral agency, virtue, vice, &c, is their metaphysical notion of agency and 


action. They say, unless the soul has a self-determining power, it has no power 
of action ; if its volitions be not caused by itself, but are excited and determined 
by some extrinsic cause, they cannot be the soul's own acts ; and that the soul 
cannot be active, but must be wholly passive, in those effects which it is the sub- 
ject of necessarily, and not from its own free determination. 

Mr. Chubb lays the foundation of his scheme of liberty, and of his arguments 
to support it, very much in this position, that man is an agent, and capable of 
action. Which doubtless is true ; but self-determination belongs to his notion of 
action, and is the very essence of it. Whence he infers, that it is impossible for 
a man to act and be acted upon, in the same thing, at the same time ; and that 
nothing, that is an action, can be the effect of the action of another ; and he 
insists, that a necessary agent, or an agent that is necessarily determined to act, 
is a plain contradiction. 

But those are a precarious sort of demonstrations, which men build on the 
meaning that they arbitrarily affix to a word ; especially when that meaning is 
abstruse, inconsistent, and entirely diverse from the original sense of the word in 
common speech. 

That the meaning of the word action, as Mr. Chubb and many others use it, 
is utterly unintelligible and inconsistent, is manifest, because it belongs to their 
notion of an action, that it is something wherein is no passion or passiveness ; 
that is (according to their sense of passiveness), it is under the power, influence 
or action of no cause. And this implies, that action has no cause, and is no 
effect ; for to be an effect implies passiveness, or the being subject to the power 
and action of its cause. And yet they hold, that the mind's action is the effect 
of its own determination, yea, the mind's free and voluntary determination ; 
which is the same with free choice. So that action is the effect of something 
preceding, even a preceding act of choice ; and consequently, in this effect the 
mind is passive, subject to the power and action of the preceding cause, which 
is the foregoing choice, and therefore cannot be active. So that here we 
have this contradiction, that action is always the effect of foregoing* choice ; 
and therefore cannot be action ; because it is passive to the power of that 
preceding causal choice; and the mind cannot be active and passive in 
the same thing, at the same time. Again, they say, necessity is utterly 
inconsistent with action, and a necessary action is a contradiction ; and so 
their notion of action implies contingence, and excludes all necessity. And 
therefore, their notion of action implies, that it has no necessary dependence or 
connection with any thing foregoing ; for such a dependence or connection ex- 
cludes contingence, and implies necessity. And yet their notion of action implies 
necessity, and supposes that it is necessary, and cannot be contingent. For 
they suppose, that whatever is properly called action, must be determined by 
the Will and free choice ; and this is as much as to say, that it must be neces- 
sary, being dependent upon, and determined by something foregoing ; namely, 
a foregoing act of choice. Again, it belongs to their notion of action, of that 
which is a proper and mere act, that it is the beginning of motion, or of exer- 
tion of power ; but yet it is implied in their notion of action, that it is not 
the beginning of motion or exertion of power, but is consequent and dependent 
on a preceding exertion of power, viz., the power of Will and choice ; for they 
say there is no proper action but what is freely chosen ; or, which is the same 
thing, determined by a foregoing act of free choice. But if any of them shall 
see cause to deny this, and say they hold no such thing as that every action is 
chosen or determined by a foregoing choice ; but that the very first exertion of 
Will only, undetermined by any preceding act, is properly called action ; the* 


I say, such a man's notion of action implies necessity ; for what the mind is the 
subject of, without the determination of its own previous choice, it is the subject 
of necessarily, as to any hand that free choice has in the affair, and without 
any ability the mind has to prevent it, by any Will or election of its ow;n: 
because by the supposition it precludes all previous acts of the Will or choice 
in the case, which might prevent it. So that it is again, in this other way, 
implied in their notion of act, that it is both necessary and not necessary. 
Again, it belongs to their notion of an act, that it is no effect of a predetermin- 
ing bias or preponderation, but springs immediately out of indifference ; and this 
implies, that it cannot be from foregoing choice, which is foregoing preponder- 
ation : if it be not habitual, but occasional, yet if it causes the act, it is truly 
previous, efficacious and determining. And yet, at the same time, it is essential 
to their notion of an act, that it is what the agent is the author of freely and 
voluntarily, and that is, by previous choice and design. 

So that, according to their notion of an act, considered with regard to its 
consequences, these following things are all essential to it, viz., that it should 
be necessary, and not necessary ; that it should be from a cause, and no cause ; 
that it should be the fruit of choice and design, and not the fruit of choice and 
design ; that it should be the beginning of motion or exertion, and yet conse- 
quent on previous exertion ; that it should be before it is j that it should spring 
immediately out of indifference and equilibrium, and yet be the effect of prepon- 
deration ; that it should be self-originated, and also have its original from some- 
thing else ; that it is what the mind causes itself, of its own Will, and can 
produce or prevent, according to its choice or pleasure, and yet what the mind 
has no power to prevent, it precluding all previous choice in the affair. 

So that an act, according to their metaphysical notion of it, is something of 
which there is no idea : it is nothing but a confusion of the mind, excited by 
words without any distinct meaning, and is an absolute nonentity ; and that in 
two respects : ( 1,) there is nothing in the world that ever was, is, or can be, to 
answer the things which must belong to its description, according to what they 
suppose to be essential to it ; and (2,) there neither is, nor ever was, nor can 
be, any notion or idea to answer the word, as they use and explain it. For if 
we should suppose any such notion, it would many ways destroy itself. But it 
is impossible any idea or notion should subsist in the mind, whose very nature 
and essence, which constitutes it, destroys it. If some learned philosopher, who 
had been abroad, in giving an account of the curious observations he had made 
m his travels, should say, " He had been in Terra del Fuego, and there had seen 
an animal, which he calls by a certain name, that begat and brought forth itself, 
and yet had a sire and dam distinct from itself; that it had an appetite, and was 
hungry before it had a being ; that his master, who led him, and governed him 
at his pleasure, was always governed by him, and driven by him where he 
pleased ; that when he moved, he always took a step before the first step ; that 
he went with his head first, and yet always went tail foremost ; and this, though 
he had neither head nor tail :" it would be no imprudence at all, to tell such a 
traveller, though a learned man, that he himself had no notion or idea of such 
an animal, as he gave an account of, and never had, nor ever would have. 

As the forementioned notion of action is very inconsistent, so it is wholly 
diverse from the original meaning of the w T ord. The more usual signification 
of it, in vulgar speech, seems to be some motion, or exertion of power, that is 
voluntary, or that is the effect of the Will; and is used in the same sense as 
doing ; and most commonly it is used to signify outward actions. So thinking 
is often distinguished from acting ; and desiring and willing, from doing. 


Besides this more usual and proper signification of the word action, there are 
other ways in which the word is used, that are less proper, which yet have place 
in common speech. Oftentimes it is used to signify some motion or alteration 
in inanimate things, with relation to some object and effect. So the spring of a 
watch is said to act upon the chain and wheels ; the sun-beams, to act upon 
plants and trees; and the fire, to act upon wood. Sometimes the word is used 
to signify motions, alterations, and exertions of power, which are seen in corpo- 
real things, considered absolutely ; especially when these motions seem to arise 
from some internal cause which is hidden ; so that they have a greater resem- 
blance of those motions of our bodies, which are the effects of internal volition, 
or invisible exertions of Will. So the fermentation of liquor, the operations of 
the loadstone, and of electrical bodies, are called the action of these things. And 
sometimes the word action is used to signify the exercise of thought, or of Will 
and inclination : so meditating, loving, hating, inclining, disinclining, choosing 
and refusing, may be sometimes called acting ; though more rarely (unless it 
be by philosophers and metaphysicians) jthan in any of the other senses. 

But the word is never used in vulgar speech in that sense which Arminian use it in, namely, for the self-determinate exercise of the Will, or an 
exertion of the soul that arises without any necessary connection, with any thing 
foregoing. If a man does something voluntarily, or as the effect of his choice, 
then in trie most proper sense, and as the word is most originally and commonly 
used, he is said to act : but whether that choice or volition be self-determined, 
or no, whether it be connected with foregoing habitual bias, whether it be the 
certain effect of the strongest motive, or some extrinsic cause, never comes into 
consideration in the meaning of the word. 

And if the word Action is arbitrarily used by some men otherwise, to suit 
some scheme of metaphysics or morality, no argument can reasonably be found- 
ed on such a use of this term, to prove any thing but their own pleasure. For 
divines and philosophers strenuously to urge such arguments, as though they 
were sufficient to support and demonstrate a whole scheme of moral philosophy 
and divinity, is certainly to erect a mighty edifice on the sand, or rather on a 
shadow. And though it may now perhaps, through custom, have become 
natural for them to use the word in this sense (if that may be called a sense or 
meaning, which is inconsistent with itself), yet this does not prove, that it is 
agreeable to the natural notions men have of things, or that there can be any 
thing in the creation that should answer such a meaning. And though they 
appeal to experience, yet the truth is, that men are so far from experiencing 
any suoh thing, that it is impossible for them to have any conception of it. 

If it should be objected, that action and passion are doubtless words of a 
contrary signification ; but to suppose that the agent, in its action, is under the 
power and influence of something extrinsic, is to confound action and passion, 
and make them the same thing : 

I answer, that action and passion are doubtless, as they are sometimes used, 
words of opposite signification ; but not as signifying opposite existences, but 
only opposite relations. The words cause and effect, are terms of opposite sig- 
nification ; but, nevertheless, if I assert, that the same thing may, at the same 
time, in different respects and relations, be both came and effect, this will not 
prove that I confound the terms. The soul may be both active and passive in 
the same thing in different respects ; active with relation to one thing, and 
•passive with relation to another. The word passion, when set in opposition to 
action, or rather activeness, is merely a relative term ; it signifies no effect or 
cause, nor any proper existence ; but is the same with passiveness, or a being 


passive, or a being acted upon by some thing. Which is a mere relation ot a 
thing to some power or force exerted by some cause, producing some effect in 
it, or upon it. And action, when set properly in opposition to passion or pas- 
s-iveness, is no real existence; it is not the same with an action, but is a mere 
relation : it is the activeness of something on another thing, being the opposite 
relation to the other, viz., a relation of power, or force, exerted by some cause 
towards another thing, which is the subject of the effect of that power. Indeed, 
the word action, is frequently used to signify something not merely relative, but 
more absolute, and a real existence ; as when we say an action ; when the word 
is not used transitively, but absolutely, for some motion or exercise of body or 
mind, without any relation to any object or effect : and as used thus, it is not 
properly the opposite of passion ; which ordinarily signifies nothing absolute, but 
merely the relation of being acted upon. And therefore, if the word action be 
used in the like relative sense, then action and passion are only two contrary 
relations. And it is no absurdity to suppose, that contrary relations may belong 
to the same thing, at the same time, with respect to different things. So to 
suppose, that there are acts of the soul by which a man voluntarily moves, and 
acts upon objects, and produces effects, which yet themselves are effects of 
something else, and wherein the soul itself is the object of something acting 
upon, and influencing that, does not confound action and passion. The words 
may nevertheless be properly of opposite signification : there may be as true 
and real a difference between acting and being caused to act, though we should 
suppose the soul to be both in the same volition, as there is between living and 
being quickened or made to live. It is no more a contradiction to suppose that 
action may be the effect of some other cause, besides the agent, or being that 
acts, than to suppose, that life may be the effect of some other cause, besides 
the being that lives, in whom life is caused to be. 

The thing which has led men into this inconsistent notion of action, when 
applied to volition, as though it were essential to this internal action, that the 
agent should be self-determined in it, and that the Will should be the cause of 
it, was probably this ; that according to the sense of mankind, and the common 
use of language, it is so with respect to men's external actions ; which are 
originally, and according to the vulgar use and most proper sense of the word, 
called actions. Men in these are self-directed, self-determined, and their Wills 
are the cause of the motions of their bodies, and the external things that are 
done ; so that unless men do them voluntarily, and of choice, and the action be 
determined by their antecedent volition, it is no action or doing of theirs. 
Hence some metaphysicians have been led unwarily, but absurdly, to suppose the 
same concerning volition itself, that that also must be determined by the Will ; 
which is to be determined by antecedent volition, as the motion of the body is ; 
not considering the contradiction it implies. 

But it is very evident, that in the metaphysical distinction between action 
and passion (though long since become common and the general vogue), due 
care has not been taken to conform language to the nature of things, or to 
any distinct, clear ideas. As it is in innumerable other philosophical, meta- 
physical terms, used in these disputes ; which has occasioned inexpressible diffi- 
culty, contention, error and confusion. 

And thus probably it came to be thought, that necessity was inconsistent 
with action, as these terms are applied to volition. First, these terms action 
and nexessity, are changed from their original meaning, as signifying external, 
voluntary action and constraint (in which meaning they are evidently incon- 
sistent), to signify quite other things, viz., volition itself, and certainty of exist- 


ence. And when the change of signification is made, care is not taken to 
make proper allowances and abatements for the difference of sense ; but still 
the same things are unwarily attributed to action and necessity, in the new 
meaning of the words, which plainly belonged to them in their first sense ; and 
on this ground, maxims are established without any real foundation, as though 
they were the most certain truths, and the most evident dictates of reason. 

But however strenuously it is maintained, that what is necessary cannot be 
properly called action, and that a necessary action is a contradiction, yet it is 
probable there are few Arminian divines, who, if thoroughly tried, would stand 
to these principles. They will allow that God is, in the highest sense, an 
active being, and the highest fountain of life and action ; and they would not 
probably deny, that those, that are called God's acts of righteousness, holiness 
and faithfulness, are truly and properly God's acts, and God is really a holy 
agent in them ; and yet, I trust, they will not deny, that God necessarily acts 
justly and faithfully, and that it is impossible for Him to act unrighteously and 


The Reasons why some think it contrary to Common Sense, to suppose those Things 
which are necessary, to be worthy of either Praise or Blame. 

It is abundantly affirmed and urged by Arminian writers, that it is contrary 
to common sense, and the natural notions and apprehensions of mankind, to 
suppose otherwise than that necessity (making no distinction between natural 
and moral necessity) is inconsistent with virtue and vice, praise and blame, 
reward and punishment. And their arguments from hence have been greatly 
triumphed in ; and have been not a little perplexing to many, who have been 
friendly to the truth, as clearly revealed in the holy Scriptures ; it has seemed 
to them indeed difficult, to reconcile Calvinistic doctrines with the notions men 
commonly have of justice and equity. And the true, reasons of it seem to be 
these that follow. 

I. It is indeed a very plain dictate of common sense, that natural necessity 
is wholly inconsistent with just praise or blame. If men do things which in 
themselves are very good, fit to be brought to pass, and very happy effects, 
properly against their Wills, and cannot help it ; or do them from a necessity 
that is without their Wills, or with which their Wills have no concern or con- 
nection ; then it is a plain dictate of common sense, that it is none of their 
virtue, nor any moral good in them ; and that they are not worthy to be re- 
warded or praised, esteemed or loved on that account. And, on the other hand, 
that if, from like necessity, they do those things which in themselves are very 
unhappy and pernicious, and do them because they cannot help it ; the neces- 
sity is such, that it is all one whether they will them or no ; and the reason 
why they are done, is from necessity only, and not from their Wills ; it is a 
very plain dictate of common sense, that they are not at all to blame ; there is 
no vice, fault, or moral evil at all in the effect done ; nor are they, who are 
thus necessitated, in any wise worthy to be punished, hated, or in the least dis- 
respected, on that account. 

In like manner, if things, in themselves good and desirable, are absolutely 
impossible, with a natural impossibility, the universal reason of mankind teaches, 
that this wholly and perfectly excuses persons in their not doing them. 


And it is also a plain dictate of common sense, that if the doing things, in 
themselves good, or avoiding things, in themselves evil, is not absolutely im- 
possible, with such a natural impossibility, but very difficult, with a natural 
difficulty ; that is, a difficulty prior to, and not at all consisting in Will and 
inclination itself, and which would remain the same, let the inclination be what 
it will ; then a person's neglect or omission is excused in some measure, though 
not wholly ; his sin is less aggravated, than if the thing to be clone were easy % 
And if, instead of difficulty and hinderance, there be a contrary natural propen- 
sity in the state of things, to the thing to be done, or the effect to be brought to 
pass, abstracted from any consideration of the inclination of the heart; though 
the propensity be not so great as to amount to a natural necessity ; yet being 
some approach to it, so that the doing the good thing be very much from this 
natural tendency in the state of things, and but little from a good inclination ; 
then it is a dictate of common sense, that there is so much the less virtue in 
what is done ; and so it is less praiseworthy and rewardable. The reason is 
easy, viz., because such a natural propensity or tendency is an approach to 
natural necessity ; and the greater the propensity, still so much the nearer is 
the approach to necessity. And, therefore, as natural necessity takes away 
or shuts out all virtue, so this propensity approaches to an abolition of virtue ; 
that is, it diminishes it. And, on the other hand, natural difficulty, in the state 
of things, is an approach to natural impossibility. And as the latter, when it 
is complete and absolute, wholly takes away blame ; so such difficulty takes 
away some blame, or diminishes blame ; and makes the thing done to be less 
worthy of punishment. 

II. Men, in their first use of such phrases as these, must, can't, can't help 
ti, can't avoid it, necessary, unable, impossible, unavoidable, irresistible, &c, use 
them to signify a necessity of constraint or restraint, a natural necessity or im- 
possibility ; or some necessity that the Will has nothing to do in ; which may 
be whether men will or no ; and which may be supposed to be just the same, 
let men's inclinations and desires be what they will. Such terms in their origi- 
nal use, I suppose, among all nations, are relative ; carrying in their significa- 
tion (as was before observed) a reference or respect to some contrary Will, de- 
sire or endeavor, which, it is supposed, is, or may be, in the case. All men 
find, and begin to find in early childhood, that there are innumerable things 
that cannot be done, which they desire to do ; and innumerable things which 
they are averse to, that must be, they cannot avoid them, they will be, whether 
they choose them or no. It is to express this necessity, which men so soon 
and so often find, and which so greatly and so early affects them in innumera- 
ble cases, that such terms and phrases are first formed ; and it is to signify such 
a necessity, that they are first used, and that they are most constantly used, in 
the common affairs of life ; and not to signify any such metaphysical, specula- 
tive and abstract notion, as that connection in the nature or course of things, 
which is between the subject and predicate of a proposition, and which is the 
foundation of the certain truth of that proposition, to signify which, they, who 
employ themselves in philosophical inquiries into the first origin and metaphysi- 
cal relations and dependencies of things, have borrowed these terms, for want 
of others. But we grow up from our cradles in a use of such terms and phrases 
entirely different from this, and carrying a sense exceeding diverse from that, 
in which they are commonly used in the controversy between Arminians and 
Calvinists. And it being, as was said before, a dictate of the universal sense 
of mankind, evident to us as soon as we begin to think, that the necessity sig- 
nified by these terms, in the sense in which we first learn them, does excuse 


persons and free them from all fault or blame ; hence our idea of excusableness 
or faultiness is tied to these terms and phrases by a strong habit, which is begun 
in childhood, as soon as we begin to speak, and grows up with us, ana is 
strengthened by constant use and custom, the connection growing stronger and 
stronger. , 

The habitual connection, which is in men's minds between blamelessness and 
those forementioned terms, must, cannot, unable, necessary, impossible, unavoid- 
able, fyc, becomes very strong ; because, as soon as ever men begin to use 
reason and speech, they have occasion to excuse themselves, from the natural 
necessity signified by these terms, in numerous instances — / can't do it, — / coidd 
not help it. — And all mankind have constant and daily occasion to use such 
phrases in this sense, to excuse themselves and others, in almost all the concerns 
of life, with respect to disappointments, and things that happen, which concern 
and affect ourselves and others, that are hurtful, or disagreeable to us or them, or 
things desirable, that we or others fail of. 

That a being accustomed to a union of different ideas, from early childhood, 
makes the habitual connection exceeding strong, as though such connection were 
owing to nature, is manifest in innumerable instances. It is altogether by such 
an habitual connection of ideas, that men judge of the bigness or distance of the 
objects of sight, from their appearance. Thus it is owing to such a connection 
early established, and growing up with a person, that he judges a mountain, which 
he sees at ten miles distance, to be bigger than his nose, or further off than the 
end of it. Having been used so long to join a considerable distance and magni- 
tude with such an appearance, men imagine it is by a dictate of natural sense : 
whereas, it would be quite otherwise with one that had his eyes newly opened, 
who had been born blind ; he would have the same visible appearance, but 
natural sense would dictate no such thing, concerning the magnitude or distance 
of what appeared. 

III. When men, after they have been so habituated to connect ideas of inno- 
cency or blamelessness with such terms, that the union seems to be the effect oi 
mere nature, come to hear the same terms used, and learn to use them themselves 
in the forementioned new and metaphysical sense, to signify quite another sort 
of necessity, which has no such kind of relation to a contrary supposable Will 
and endeavor ; the notion of plain and manifest blamelessness, by this means, 
is, by a strong prejudice, insensibly and unwarily transferred to a case to which 
it by no means belongs ; the change of the use of the terms, to a signification 
which is very diverse, not being taken notice of, or adverted to. And there are 
several reasons, why it is not. 

1. The terms, as used by philosophers, are not very distinct and clear in 
their meaning ; few use them in a fixed, determined sense. On the contrary, 
their meaning is very vague and confused. Which is what commonly happens 
to the words used to signify things intellectual and moral, and to express what 
Mr. Locke calls mixed modes. If men had a clear and distinct understanding of 
what is intended by these metaphysical terms, they would be able more easily 
to compare them with their original and common sense ; and so would not be so 
easily led into delusion by words of this sort. 

2. The change of the signification of the terms is the more insensible, be- 
cause the things signified, though indeed very different, yet do in some generals 
agree. In necessity, that which is vulgarly so called, there is a strong connec- 
tion between the thing said to be necessary, and something antecedent to it, in 
the order of nature ; so there is also in philosophical necessity. And though in 
both kinds of necessity, the connection cannot be called by that name, with re- 

Vol. II. 17 


lation to an opposite Will or endeavor, to which it is superior ; which is the 
case in vulvar necessity ; yet in both, the connection is prior to Will and en- 
deavor, and so, in some respect, superior. In both kinds of necessity, there is a 
foundation for some certainty of the proposition, that affirms the event. The 
terms used being the same, and the things signified agreeing in these and some 
other general circumstances, and the expressions, as used by philosophers being 
not well defined, and so of obscure and loose signification ; hence persons are not 
aware of the great difference ; and the notions of innocence or faultiness, which 
were so strongly associated with them, and were strictly united in their minds, 
ever since they can remember, remain united with them still, as if the union were 
altogether natural and necessary ; and they that go about to make a separation, 
seem to them to do great violence even to nature itself. 

IV. Another reason why it appears difficult to reconcile it with reason, that 
men should be blamed for that which is necessary with a moral necessity (which, 
as was observed before, is a species of philosophical necessity), is, that for want 
of due consideration, men inwardly entertain that apprehension, that this neces- 
sity may be against men's Wills and sincere endeavors. They go away with 
that notion, that men may truly will, and wish, and strive, that it may be other- 
wise, but that invincible necessity stands in the way. And many think thus 
concerning themselves : some, that are wicked men, think they wish that they 
were good, that they loved God and holiness ; but yet do not find tha + their 
wishes produce the effect. — The reasons why men think thus, are as fellows . 
(1.) They find what may be called an indirect willingness to have abetter Will, 
in the manner before observed. For it is impossible, and a contradiction to sup- 
pose the Will to be directly and properly against itself. And they do not 
consider, that this indirect willingness is entirely a different thing from properly 
willing the thing that is the duty and virtue required ; and that there is no virtue 
in that sort of willingness which they have. They do not consider, that the 
volitions, which a wicked man may have that he loved God, are no acts of the 
Will at all against the moral evil of not loving God ; but only some disagreeable 
consequences. But the making the requisite distinction requires more care of 
reflection and thought, than most men are used to. And men, through a preju- 
dice in their own favor, are disposed to think well of their own desires and 
dispositions, and to account them good and virtuous, though their respect to 
virtue be only indirect and remote, and it is nothing at all that is virtuous that 
truly excites or terminates their inclinations. (2.) Another thing, that insensi- 
bly leads and beguiles men into a supposition that this moral necessity 01 
impossibility is, or may be against men's Wills and true endeavors, is the deri- 
vation and formation of the terms themselves, that are often used to express it, 
which is such as seems directly to point to, and holds this forth. Such words, 
for instance, as unable, unavoidable, impossible, irresistible ; w T hich carry a plain 
reference to a supposable power exerted, endeavors used, resistance made, in 
opposition to the necessity ; and the persons that hear them, not considering nor 
suspecting but that they are used in their proper sense ; that sense'being there- 
fore understood, there does naturally, and as it were necessarily, arise in their 
minds a supposition, that it may be so indeed, that true desires and endeavors 
may take place, but that invincible necessity stands in the way, and renders them 
vain and to no effect. 

V. Anothe' thing, which makes persons more ready to suppose it to be con- 
trary to reason, that men should be exposed to the punishments threatened to 
sin, for doing those things which are morally necessary, or not doing those things 
morally impossible, is, that imagination strengthens the argument, and adds 


greatly to the power and influence of the seeming reasons against it, from the 
greatness of that punishment. To allow that they may be justly exposed to a 
small punishment, would not be so difficult. Whereas, if there were any good 
reason in the case, if it were truly a dictate of reason, that such necessity was 
inconsistent with faultiness, or just punishment, the demonstration would be 
equally certain with respect to a small punishment, or any punishment at all, as 
a very great one ; but it is not equally easy to the imagination. They that 
argue against the justice of damning men for those things that are thus neces- 
sary, seem to make their argument the stronger, by setting forth the greatness 
of the punishment in strong expressions ; — that a man should be cast into eter- 
nal burnings, that he should be made to fry in hell to all eternity for those things 
which he had no power to avoid, and was under a fatal, unfrustrable, invincible 
necessity of doing. 


It is agreeable to Common Sense, and the Natural Notions of Mankind, to suppose 
moral Neceosity to be consistent with Praise and Blame, Reward and Punishment. 

Whether the reasons that have been given, why it appears difficult to some 
persons, to reconcile with common sense the praising or blaming, rewarding or 
punishing, those things which are morally necessary, are thought satisfactory or 
not ; yet it most evidently appears, by the following things, that if this matter 
be rightly understood, setting aside all delusion arising from the impropriety 
and ambiguity of terms, this is not at all inconsistent with the natural apprehen- 
sions of mankind, and that sense of things which is found everywhere in the 
common people ; who are furthest from having their thoughts perverted from 
their natural channel, by metaphysical and philosophical subtilties ; but, on the 
contrary, altogether agreeable to, and the very voice and dictate of, this natural 
and vulgar sense. 

I. This will appear, if we consider what the vulgar notion of blame- 
worthiness is. The idea which the common people, through all ages and nations, 
have of faultiness, I suppose to be plainly this ; a person's being or doing wrong, 
with his own will and pleasure ; containing these two things : 1. His doing 
wrong when he does as he pleases. 2. His pleasure being wrong. Or, in 
other words, perhaps more intelligibly expressing their notion ; a person's having 
his heart wrong, and doing wrong from his heart. And this is the sum total of 
the matter. 

The common people do not ascend up in their reflections and abstractions to 
the metaphysical sources, relations and dependencies of things, in order to form 
their notion of faultiness or blameworthiness. They do not wait till they have 
decided by their refinings, what first determines the Will ; whether it be deter- 
mined by something extrinsic, or intrinsic ; whether volition determines volition, 
or whether the understanding determines the Will ; whether there be any such 
thing as metaphysicians mean by contingence (if they have any meaning) ; 
whether there be a sort of a strange, unaccountable sovereignty in the Will, in 
the exercise of which, by its own sovereign acts, it brings to pass all it« own 
sovereign acts. They do not take any pail of their notion of fault or blame 
from the resolution of any such questions. If this were the case, there are mul- 


titudes, yea, the far greater part of mankind, nine hundred and ninety-nine out 
of a thousand, would live and die, without having any such notion, as that of 
fault, ever entering into their heads, or without so much as once having any 
conception that any body was to be either blamed or commended for any thing. 
To be sure, it would be a long time before men came to have such notions. 
Whereas it is manifest, they are some of the first notions that appear m chil- 
dren ; who discover, as soon as they can think, or speak, or act at all as rational 
creatures, a sense of desert. And, certainly, in forming their notion of it, they 
make no use of metaphysics. All the ground they go upon, consists in these two 
tMngs ; experience, and a natural sensation of a certain fitness or agreeableness, 
which there is in uniting such moral evil as is above described, viz., a being or 
doing wrong with the Will, and resentment in others, and pain inflicted on the 
person in whom this moral evil is. Which natural sense is what we call by 
the name of conscience. 

It is true, the common people and children, in their notion of a faulty act 01 
deed, of any person, do suppose that it is the person's own act and deed. But 
this is all that belongs to what they understand by a thing's being a person's 
own deed or action ; even that it is something done by him of choice. That 
some exercise or motion should begin of itself, does not belong to their notion 
of an action, or doing. If so, it would belong to their notion of it, that it is 
something, which is the cause of its own beginning ; and that is as much as to 
say, that it is before it begins to be. Nor is their notion of an action some 
motion or exercise, that begins accidentally, without any cause or reason ; for 
that is contrary to one of the prime dictates of common sense, namely, that every- 
thing that begins to be, has some cause or reason why it is. 

The common people, in their notion of a faulty or praiseworthy deed or wort 
done by any one, do suppose, that the man does it in the exercise of liberty. 
But then their notion of liberty is only a person's having opportunity of doing 
as he pleases. They have no notion of liberty consisting in the Will's first 
acting, and so causing its own acts ; and determining, and so causing its own 
determinations ; or choosing, and so causing its own choice. Such a notion ot 
liberty is what none have, but those that have darkened their own minds with 
confused, metaphysical speculation, and abstruse and ambiguous terms. If a 
man is not restrained from acting as his Will determines, or constrained to act 
otherwise ; then he has liberty, according to common notions of liberty, without 
/aking into the idea that grand contradiction of all, the determinations of a 
man's free Will being the effects of the determinations of his free Will. Noi 
have men commonly any notion of freedom consisting in indifference. For if 
so, then it would be agreeable to their notion, that the greater indifference men 
act with, the more freedom they act with ; whereas, the reverse is true. He 
that in acting, proceeds with the fullest inclination, does what he does with the 
greatest freedom, according to common sense. And so far is it from being 
agreeable to common sense, that such liberty as consists in indifference is requi- 
site to praise or blame, that on the contrary, the dictate of every man's natural 
sense through the world is, that the further he is from being indifferent in his 
acting good or evil, and the more he does either with or without full and strong 
inclination, the more is he to be esteemed or abhorred, commended or con- 

H. If it were inconsistent with the common sense of mankind, that men 
should be either to be blamed or commended in any volitions, they have, or fail 
of, in case of moral necessity or impossibility ; then it would surely also be 
agreeable to the same sense and reason of mankind, that the nearer the case 


approaches to such a moral necessity or impossibility, either through a strong 
antecedent moral propensity, on the one hand,* or a great antecedent opposition 
and difficulty on the other, the nearer does it approach to a being neither blama- 
ble nor commendable ; so that acts exerted with such preceding propensity, 
would be worthy of proportionably less praise ; and when omitted, the act 
being attended with such difficulty, the omission would be worthy of* the less 
blame. It is so, as was observed before, with natural necessity and impossi- 
bility, propensity and difficulty ; as it is a plain dictate of the sense of all man- 
kind, that natural necessity and impossibility take away all blame and praise ; 
and therefore, that the nearer the approach is to these, through previous pro- 
pensity or difficulty, so praise and blame are proportionably diminished. And if 
it were as much a dictate of common sense, that moral necessity of doing, or 
impossibility of avoiding, takes away all praise and blame, a£ that natural 
necessity or impossibility does this ; then, by a perfect parity of reason, it would 
be as much the dictate of common sense, that an approach to moral necessity 
of doing, or impossibility of avoiding, diminishes praise and blame, as that an 
approach to natural necessity and impossibility does so. It is equally the voice 
of common sense, that persons are excusable in part, in neglecting things diffi- 
cult against their Wills, as that they are excusable wholly in neglecting things 
impossible against their Wills. And if it made no difference whether the impos- 
sibility were natural and against the Will, or moral, lying in the Will, with 
regard to excusableness ; so neither would it make any difference, whether 
the difficulty, or approach to necessity be natural against the Will, or moral, 
lying in the propensity of the Will. 

But it is apparent, that the reverse of these things is true. If there be an 
approach to a moral necessity in a man's exertion of good acts of Will, they 
being the exercise of a strong propensity to good, and a very powerful love to 
virtue ; it is so far from being the dictate of common sense, that he is less vir- 
tuous, and the less to be esteemed, loved and praised ; that it is agreeable to 
the natural notions of all mankind, that he is so much the better man, worthy 
of greater respect, and higher commendation. And the stronger the inclination 
is, and the nearer it approaches to necessity in that respect ; or to impossibility 
of neglecting the virtuous act, or of doing a vicious one, still the more virtuous, 
and worthy of higher commendation. And, on the other hand, if a man exerts 
evil acts of mind ; as, for instance, acts of pride or malice from a rooted and 
strong habit, or principle of haughtiness and maliciousness, and a violent pro- 
pensity of heart to such acts ; according to the natural sense of all men, he is 
so far from being the less hateful and blamable on that account, that he is so 
much the more worthy to be detested and condemned, by all that observe him. 

Moreover, it is manifest that it is no part of the notion, which mankind com- 
monly have of a blamable or praiseworthy act of the Will, that it is an act 
which is not determined by an antecedent bias or motive, but by the sovereign 
power of the Will itself ; because, if so, the greater hand such causes have in 
determining any acts of the Will, so much the less virtuous or vicious would 
they be accounted ; and the less hand, the more virtuous or vicious. W T hereas, 
the reverse is true : men do not think a good act to be the less praiseworthy, 
for the agent's being much determined in it by a good inclination or a good mo- 
tive, but the more. And if good inclination or motive, has but little influence 
in determining the agent, they do not think his act so much the more virtuous, 

* It is here argued, on supposition that not all propensity implies moral necessity, but only some very 
high degree ; which none will deny. 


but the hss. And so concerning evil acts, which are determined by eul mo- 
tives or inclinations. .,,.-.. • i L j • ^ 

Yea if it be supposed that good or evil dispositions are implanted in the 
hearts of men, by nature itself (which, it is certain, is vulgarly supposed in in- 
numerable cases), yet it is not commonly supposed, that men are worthy of no 
praise or dispraise for such dispositions; although what is natural, is undoubt- 
U\y necessary, nature being prior to all acts of the Will whatsoever. Thus, 
for instance, if a man appears to be of a very haughty or malicious disposition, 
and is supposed to be so by his natural temper, it is no vulgar notion, no dictate 
of the common sense and apprehension cf men, that such dispositions are no 
vices or moral evils, or that such persons are not worthy of disesteem, odium and 
dishonor ; or that the proud or malicious acts which flow from such natural dis- 
positions, are .worthy of no resentment. Yea, such vile natural dispositions, 
and the strength of them, will commonly be mentioned rather as an aggravation 
of the wicked acts, that come from such a fountain, than an extenuation of 
them. Its being natural for men to act thus, is often observed by men in the 
height of their indignation : they will say, " It is his very nature : he is of a 
vilenatural temper : it is as natural to him to act so as it is to breathe j he can- 
not help serving the devil," &c. But it is not thus with regard to hurtful, mis- 
chievous things" that any are the subjects or occasions of, by a natural necessity, 
against their inclinations. In such a case, the necessity, by the common voice 
of mankind, will be spoken of as a full excuse. Thus it is very plain, that com- 
mon sense makes a vast difference between these two kinds of necessity, as to 
the judgment it makes of their influence on the moral quality and desert of 
men's actions. 

And these dictates of men's minds are so natural and necessary, that it may 
be very much doubted whether the Arminians themselves have ever got rid of 
them ; yea, their greatest doctors, that have gone furthest in defence of their 
metaphysical notions of liberty, and have brought their arguments to their great- 
est strength, and, as they suppose, to a demonstration, against the consistence of 
virtue and vice with any necessity ; it is to be questioned, whether there is so 
much as one of them, but that, if he suffered very much from the injurious acts 
of a man, under the power of an invincible haughtiness and malignancy of tem- 
per, would not, from the forementioned natural sense of mind, resent it far other- 
wise, than if as great sufferings came upon him from the wind that blows, and 
fire that burns by natural necessity ; and otherwise than he would, if he suffered 
as much from the conduct of a man perfectly delirious ; yea, though he first 
brought his distraction upon him some way by his own fault. 

Some seem to disdain the distinction that we make between natural and 
moral necessity, as though it were altogether impertinent in this controversy : 
" That which is necessary, say they, is necessary ; it is that which must be, and 
cannot be prevented. And that which is impossible, is impossible, and cannot 
be done ; and therefore, none can be to blame for not doing it." And such 
comparisons are made use of, as the commanding of a man to walk, who has 
lost his legs, and condemning and punishing him for not obeying ; inviting and 
calling upon a man, who is shut up in a strong prison, to come forth, &c. But, 
in these things, Arminians are very unreasonable. Let common sense deter- 
mine whether there be not a great difference between those tw r o cases ; the one, 
that of a man who has offended his prince, and is cast into prison ; and after 
he has lain there a while, the king comes to him, calls him to come forth to him, 
and tells him, that if he will do so, and will fall down before him, and humbly 
beg his pardon, he shall be forgiven, and set at liberty, and also be areatly en- 


riched and advanced to honor ; the prisoner heartily repents of the folly and 
wickedness of his offence against his prince, is thoroughly disposed to abase 
himself, and accept of the king's offer ; but is confined by strong walls, with 
gates of brass, and bars of iron. The other case is, that of a man who is of a 
very unreasonable spirit, of a haughty, ungrateful, wilful disposition, and, more- 
over, has been brought up in traitorous principles, and has his heart possessed 
with an extreme and inveterate enmity to his lawful sovereign ; and for his re- 
bellion is 'cast into prison, and lies long there, loaden with heavy chains, and in 
miserable circumstances. At length the compassionate prince comes to the pris- 
on, orders his chains to be knocked off, and his prison doors to be set wide open ; 
calls to him, and tells him, if he will come forth to him, and fall down before 
him, acknowledge that he has treated him unworthily, and ask his forgiveness, 
he shall be forgiven, set at liberty, and set in a place of great dignity and profit 
in his court. But he is so stout and stomachful, and full of haughty malignity, 
that he cannot be willing to accept the offer : his rooted, strong pride and ma- 
lice have perfect power over him, and as it were bind him, by binding his heart; 
the opposition of his heart has the mastery over him, having an influence on his 
mind far superior to the king's grace and condescension, and to all his kind of- 
fers and promises. Now, is it agreeable to common sense to assert and stand 
to it, that there is no difference between these two cases, as to any worthiness 
of blame in the prisoners ; because, forsooth, there is a necessity in both, and 
the required act in each case is impossible 1 It is true, a man's evil dispositions 
may be as strong and immovable as the bars of a castle. But who cannot see, 
that when a man, in the latter case, is said to be unable to obey the command, 
the expression is used improperly, and not in the sense it has originally and in 
common speech ? And that it may properly be said to be in the rebel's power 
to come out of prison, seeing he can easily do it if he pleases; though by reason 
of his vile temper of heart, which is fixed and rooted, it is impossible that it 
should please him 1 

Upon the whole, I presume there is no person of good understanding, who 
impartially considers the things which have been observed, but will allow, that 
it is not evident, from the dictates of the common sense, or natural notions of 
mankind, that moral necessity is inconsistent with praise and blame. And 
therefore, if the Arminians would prove any such inconsistency, it must be by 
some philosophical and metaphysical arguments, and not common sense. 

There is a grand illusion in the pretended demonstration of Arminians from 
common sense. The main strength of all these demonstrations lies in that pre- 
judice, that arises through the insensible change of the use and meaning of such 
terms as liberty, able, unable, necessary, impossible, unavoidable, invincible, ac- 
tion, &c, from their original and vulgar sense, to a metaphysical sense, entirely 
diverse, and the strong connection of the ideas of blamelessness, &c, with some 
of these terms, by a habit contracted and established, while these terms were 
used in their first meaning. This prejudice and delusion is the foundation of all 
those positions, they lay down as maxims, by which most of the scriptures, which 
they allege in this controversy, are interpreted, and on which all their pompous 
demonstrations from Scripture and reason depend. From .this secret delusion 
and prejudice they have almost all their advantages; it is the strength of their 
bulwarks, and the edge of their weapons. And this is the main ground of all 
the right they have to treat their neighbors in so assuming a manner, and to in- 
sult others, perhaps as wise and good as themselves, as weak bigots, men that 
dwell in the dark caves of superstition, perversely set, obstinately shutting their 
eyes against the noonday light, enemies to common sense, maintaining the first 


born of absurdities, &c. &c. But perhaps an impartial consideration of the things, 
which have been observer in the preceding parts of this inquiry, may enable the 
lovers of truth better to judge, whose doctrine is indeed absurd, abstruse, self 
contra' I id or y, and inconsistent with common sense, and many ways repugnant 
to the universal dictates of the reason of mankind. 

Corol. From things which have been observed, it will follow, that it is 
agreeable to common sense to suppose, that the glorified saints have not their 
freedom at all diminished, in any respect ; and that God himself has the highest 
possible freedom, according to the true and proper meaning of the term ; and 
that he is, in the highest possible respect, an agent, and active in the exercise of 
his infinite holiness ; though he acts therein, in the highest degree, necessarily ; 
and his actions of this kind are in the highest, most absolutely perfect manner, 
virtuous and praiseworthy j and are so, for that very reason, because they are 
most perfectly necessary. 


Concerning those Objections, that this Scheme of Necessity renders all Means and 
Endeavors for the avoiding of Sin, or the obtaining Virtue and Holiness, vain and 
to no purpose ; and that it makes Men no more than mere Machines in Affairs 
of Morality and Religion. 

Arminians say, if it be so, that sin and virtue come to pass by a necessity 
consisting in a sure connection of Causes and effects, antecedents and consequents, 
it can never be worth the while to use any means or endeavors to obtain the 
one, and avoid the other ; seeing no endeavors can alter the futurity of the 
event, which is become necessary by a connection already established. 

But I desire, that this matter may be fully considered ; and that it may be 
examined with a thorough strictness, whether it will follow that endeavors and 
means, in order to avoid or obtain any future thing, must be more in vain, on 
the supposition of such a connection of antecedents and consequents, than if the 
contrary be supposed. 

For endeavors to be in vain, is for them not to be successful ; that is to say, 
for them not eventually to be the means of the thing aimed at, w T hich cannot be, 
but in one of these two ways ; either, first : that although the means are used, 
yet the event aimed at does not follow ; or, secondly, if the event does follow, 
it is not because of the means, or from any connection or dependence of the event 
on the means : the event would have come to pass, as well without the means as 
with them. If either of these two things are the case, then the means are not 
properly successful, and are truly in vain. The successfulness or unsuccessfulness 
of means, in order to an effect, or their being in vain or not in vain, consists in 
those means being connected, or not connected with the effect, in such a man- 
ner as this, viz., that the effect is with the means, and not without them ; or 
that the being of the effect is, on the one hand, connected with the means, and 
the want of the effect, on the other hand, is connected with the want of the 
means. If there be such a connection as this between means and end, the 
means are not in vain. The more there is of such a connection, the further they 
are from being in vain \ and the less of such a connection, the more they are in 

Now, therefore, the Question to be answered (in order to determine, whether 


it follows from this doctrine of the necessary connection between foregoing 
things, and consequent ones, that means used in order to any effect, are more in 
vain than they would be otherwise) is, whether it follows from it, that there is 
less of the forementioned connection between means and effect ; that is, whether, 
on the supposition of there being a real and true connection between antecedent 
things and consequent ones, there must be less of a connection between means 
and effect, than on the supposition of there being no fixed connection between 
antecedent things and consequent ones ; and the very stating of this question is 
sufficient to answer it. It must appear to every one that will open his eyes, 
that this question cannot be affirmed, without the grossest absurdity and incon- 
sistence. Means are foregoing things, and effects are following things ; and if 
there were no connection between foregoing things and following ones, there 
could be no connection between means and end ; and so all means would be wholly 
vain and fruitless. For it is by virtue of some connection only, that they become 
successful : it is some connection observed, or revealed, or otherwise known, be- 
tween antecedent things and following ones, that is, what directs in the choice 
of means. And if there were no such thing as an established connection, there 
could be no choice as to means ; one thing would have no more tendency to an effect, 
than another ; there would be no such thing as tendency in the case. All those things 
which are successful means of other things, do therein prove connected antece- 
dents of them; and therefore to assert, that a fixed connection between 
antecedents and consequents makes means vain and useless, or stands in the way 
to hinder the connection between means and end, is just as ridiculous as to say, 
that a connection between antecedents and consequents stands in the way to 
hinder a connection between antecedents and consequents. 

Nor can any supposed connection of the succession or train of antecedents 
and consequents, from the very beginning of all things, the connection being 
made already sure and necessary, either by established laws of nature, or by 
these together with a decree of sovereign immediate interpositions of divine pow- 
er, on such and such occasions, or any other way (if any other there be) ; I say, 
no such necessary connection of a series of antecedents and consequents can in 
the least tend to hinder, but that the means we use may belong to the series ; 
and so may be some of those antecedents which are connected with the conse- 
quents we aim at, in the established course of things. Endeavors which we 
use, are things that exist ; and, therefore, they belong to the general chain of 
events ; all the parts of which chain are supposed to be connected ; and so 
endeavors are supposed to be connected with some effects, or some consequent 
things or other. And certainly this does not hinder but that the events they 
are connected with, may be those which we aim at, and which we choose, be- 
cause we judge them most likely to have a connection with those events, from 
the established order and course of things which we observe, or from something 
in divine revelation. 

Let us suppose a real and sure connection between a man's having his eyes 
open in the clear day-light, with good organs of sight, and seeing ; so that seeing is 
connected with his opening his eyes, and not seeing with his not opening his 
eyes ; and also the like connection between such a man's attempting to open his 
eyes, and his actually doing it. The supposed established connection between 
these antecedents and consequents, let the connection be ever so sure and ne- 
cessary, certainly does not prove that it is in vain, for a man in such circumstances 
to attempt to open his eyes, in order to seeing ; his aiming at that event, and 
the use of the means, being the effect of his Will, does not break the connec- 
tion, or hinder the success. 

Vol. IL 18 


So that the objection we are upon does not lie against the doctrine of the 
necessity of events by a certainty of connection and consequence : on the con- 
trary it is truly forcible against the Arminian doctrine of contingence and self- 
determination ; which is inconsistent with such a connection. If there be no 
connection between those events, wherein virtue and vice consist, and any thing 
antecedent • then there is no connection between these events and any means or 
endeavors used in order to them ; and if so, then those means must be vain. 
The less there is of connection between foregoing things and following ones, so 
much the less there is between means and end, endeavors and success ; and in 
the same proportion are means and endeavors ineffectual and vain. 

It will follow from Arminian principles, that there is no connection between 
virtue or vice, and any foregoing event or thing ; or, in other words, that the 
determination of the existence of virtue or vice does not in the least depend on 
the influence of any thing that comes to pass antecedently, from which the 
determination of its existence is, as its cause, means, or ground ; because, so 
far as it is so, it is not from self-determination ; and, therefore, so far there is 
nothing of the nature of virtue or vice. And so it follows, that virtue and vice 
are not in any degree, dependent upon, or connected with, any foregoing event 
or existence, as its cause, ground, or means. And if so, then all foregoing 
means must be totally vain. 

Hence it follows, that there cannot, in any consistence with the Arminian 
scheme, be any reasonable ground of so much as a conjecture concerning the 
consequence of any means and endeavors, in order to escaping vice or obtaining 
virtue, or any choice or preference of means, as having a greater probability of 
success by some than others ; either from any natural connection or dependence 
of the end on the means, or through any divine constitution, or revealed way of 
God's bestowing or bringing to pass these things, in consequence of any means, 
endeavors, prayers or deeds. Conjecture, in this latter case, depends on a sup- 
position, that God himself is the giver, or determining cause of the events 
sought ; but if they depend on self-determination, then God is not the determin- 
ing or disposing author of them ; and if these things are not of his disposal, 
then no conjecture can be made, from any revelation he has given, concerning 
any way or method of his disposal of them. 

Yea, on these principles, it will not only follow, that men cannot have any 
reasonable ground of judgment or conjecture, that their means and endeavors to 
obtain virtue or avoid vice, will be successful, but they may be sure, they will 
not ; they may be certain, that they will be vain ; and that if ever the thing, 
which they seek, comes to pass, it will not be at all owing to the means they 
use. For means and endeavors can have no effect, in order to obtain the end, 
but in one of these two ways; either, (1,) through a natural tendency and 
influence, to prepare and dispose the mind more to virtuous acts, either by caus- 
ing the disposition of the heart to be more in favor of such acts, or by bringing 
the mind more into the view of powerful motives and inducements ; or, (2,) by 
putting persons more in the way of God's bestowment of the benefit. But 
neithei of these can be the case. Not the latter ; for, as has been just now 
observed, it does not consist with the Arminian notion of self-determination, 
which they suppose essential to virtue, that God should be the bestower, or 
( which is the same thing) the determining, disposing author of virtue. Not the 
former, for natural influence and tendency supposes causality and connection ; 
and that supposes necessity of event, which is inconsistent with Arminian 
liberty. A tendency of means, by biasing the heart in favor of virtue, or by 
bringing the Will under the influence and power of motives in its determina- 


tions, are both inconsistent with Arminian liberty of Will, consisting in indif- 
ference, and sovereign self-determination, as has been largely demonstrated. 

But for the more full removal of this prejudice against the doctrine ot 
necessity, which has been maintained, as though it tended to encourage a total 
neglect of all endeavors as vain ; the following things may be considered. 

The question is not, whether men may not thus improve this doctrine : we 
know that many true and wholesome doctrines are abused ; but, whether the 
doctrine gives any just occasion for such an improvement ; or whether, on the 
supposition of the truth of the doctrine, such a use of it would not be unreason- 
able ? If any shall affirm, that it would not, but that the very nature of the 
doctrine is such as gives just occasion for it, it must be on this supposition, 
namely, that such an invariable necessity of all things already settled, must 
render the interposition of ajl means, endeavors, conclusions or actions of ours, 
in order to the obtaining any future end whatsoever, perfectly insignificant ; 
because they cannot in the least alter or vary the course and series of things, in 
any event or circumstance ; all being already fixed unalterably by necessity ; 
and that therefore it is folly, for men to use any means for any end ; but their 
wisdom, to save themselves the trouble of endeavors, and take their ease. No 
person can draw such an inference from this doctrine, and come to such a con- 
clusion, without contradicting himself, and going counter to the very principles 
he pretends to act upon ; for he comes to a conclusion, and takes a course, in 
order to an end, even his ease, or the saving himself from trouble ; he seeks 
something future, and uses means in order to a future thing, even in his drawing 
up that conclusion, that he will seek nothing, and use no means in order to any 
thing in future ; he seeks his future ease, and the benefit and comfort of indo- 
lence. If prior necessity, that determines all things, makes vain all actions or 
conclusions ol ours, in order to any thing future ; then it makes vain all conclu- 
sions and conduct of ours, in order to our future ease. The measure of our ease, 
with the time, manner, and every circumstance of it, is already fixed, by all- 
determining necessity, as much as any thing else. If he says within himself, 
" What future happiness or misery I shall have, is already, in effect, determined 
by the necessary course and connection of things ; therefore, I will save myself 
the trouble of labor and diligence, which cannot add to my determined degree 
of happiness, or diminish my misery ; but will take my ease, and will enjoy the 
comfort of sloth and negligence." Such a man contradicts himself; he says, 
the measure of his future happiness and misery is already fixed, and he will not 
try to diminish the one, nor add to the other ; but yet, in his very conclusion, he 
contradicts this ; for, he takes up this conclusion, to add to his future happiness, 
by the ease and comfort of his negligence ; and to diminish his future trouble 
and misery, by saving himself the trouble of using means and taking pains. 

Therefore persons cannot reasonably make this improvement of the doctrine 
of necessity, that they will go into a voluntary negligence of means for their 
own happiness. For the principles they must go upon in order to this, are in- 
consistent with their making any improvement at all of the doctrine ; for to 
make some improvement of it, is to be influenced by it, to come to some volun- 
tary conclusion in regard to their own conduct, with some view or aim ; but 
this, as has been shown, is inconsistent with the principles they pretend to act 
upon. In short, the principles are such as cannot be acted upon, in any respect, 
consistently. And, therefore, in every pretence of acting upon them, or making 
any improvement of them, there is a self-contradiction. 

As to that objection against the doctrine, which I have endeavored to prove, 
that it makes men no more than mere machines ; I would say, that not with- 


standing this doctrine, man is entirely, perfectly and unspeakably differait from 
a mere machine, in that he has reason and understanding, and has a faculty of 
Will, and so is capable of volition or choice ; and in that, his Will is guided 
by the dictates or views of his understanding ; and in that his external actions 
and behavior, and, in many respects, also his thoughts, and the exercises of his 
mind, are subject to his Will; so that he has liberty to act according to his 
choice, and do what he pleases ; and by means of these things, is capable of 
moral habits and moral acts, such inclinations aud actions as, according to the 
common sense of mankind, are worthy of praise, esteem, love and reward ; or, 
on the contrary, of disesteem, detestation, indignation and punishment. 

In these things is all the difference from mere machines, as to liberty and 
agency, that would be any perfection, dignity or privilege, in any respect ; all 
the difference that can be desired, and all that can V^e conceived of; and indeed 
all that the pretensions of the Arminians themselves come to, as they are forced 
often to explain themselves (though their explications overthrow and abolish 
the things asserted, and pretended to be explained) ; for they are forced to ex- 
plain a self-determining power of Will, by a power in the soul, to determine as 
it chooses or Wills ; which comes to no more than this, that a man has a power 
of choosing, and in many instances, can do as he chooses. Which is quite a 
different thing from that contradiction, his having power of choosing his first 
act of choice in the case. 

Or, if their scheme makes any other difference than this, between men and 
machines, it is for the worse ; it is so far from supposing men to have a dignity 
and privilege above machines, that it makes the manner of their being deter- 
mined still more unhappy. Whereas, machines are guided by an understanding 
cause, by the skilful hand of the workman or owner ; the Will of man is left to 
the guidance of nothing, but absolute blind contingence. 


Concerning that Objection against the Doctrine which has been maintained, thai it 
agrees with the Stoical Doctrine of Fate, and the Opinions of Mr. Hobbes. 

When Calvinists oppose the Arminian notion of the freedom of Will, and 
contingence of volition, and insist that there are no acts of the Will, nor any 
other events whatsoever, but what are attended with some kind of necessity ; 
their opposers cry out of them, as agreeing with the ancient Stoics in their doc- 
trine of fate, and with Mr Hobbes in his opinion of necessity. 

It would not be worth while to take notice of so impertinent an objection, 
had it not been urged by some of the chief Arminian writers. There were 
many important truths maintained by the ancient Greek and Roman philoso- 
phers, and especially the Stoics, that are never the worse for being held by 
them. The Stoic philosophers, by the general agreement of Christians, and 
even by Arminian divines, were the greatest, wisest, and most virtuous of all 
the heathen philosophers ; and, in their doctrine and practice, came the nearest 
to Christianity of any of their sects. How frequently are the sayings of these 
philosophers, in many of the writings and sermons, even of Arminian divines, 
produced, not as arguments of the falseness of the doctrines which they delivered, 
but as a confirmation of some of the greatest truths of the Christian religion, 
relating to the unity and perfections of the Godhead, a future state, the duty and 


happiness of mankind, &c, as observing how the light of nature and reason, in 
the wisest and best of the heathens, harmonized with, and confirms the Gospel 
of Jesus Christ. 

And it is very remarkable, concerning Dr. Whitby, that although he alleges 
the agreement of the Stoics with us, wherein he supposes they maintained the 
like doctrine with us, as an argument against the truth of our doctrine ; yet, 
this very Dr. Whitby alleges the agreement of the Stoics with the Arminians, 
wherein he supposes they taught the same doctrine with them, as an argument 
for the truth of their doctrine.* So that, when the Stoics agree with them, this 
(it seems) is a confirmation of their doctrine, and a confutation of ours, as 
showing that our opinions are contrary to the natural sense and common reason 
of mankind : nevertheless, when the Stoics agree with us, it argues no such 
thing in our favor ; but, on the contrary, is a great argument against us, and 
shows our doctrine to be heathenish. 

It is observed by some Calvinistic writers, that the Ar minions symbolize 
with the Stoics, in some of those doctrines wherein they are opposed by the 
Calvinists ; particularly in their denying an original, innate, total corruption 
and depravity of heart ; and in what they held of man's ability to make him- 
self truly virtuous and conformed to God ; and in some other doctrines. 

It may be further observed, it is certainly no better objection against our 
doctrine, that it agrees, in some respects, with the doctrine of the ancient Stoic 
philosophers, than it is against theirs, wherein they differ from us, that it agrees, 
in some respects, with the opinion of the very worst of the heathen philoso- 
phers, the followers of Epicurus, that father of atheism and licentiousness, and 
with the doctrine of the Sadducees and Jesuits. 

I am not much concerned to -know precisely, what the ancient Stoic phi- 
losophers held concerning fate, in order to determine what is truth j as though 
it were a sure way to be in the right, to take good heed to differ from them. 
It seems, that they differed among themselves ; and probably the doctrine of 
fate as maintained by most of them, was, in some respects, erroneous. But what- 
ever their doctrine was, if any of them held such a fate, as is repugnant to any 
liberty, consisting in our doing as we please, I utterly deny such a fate. If 
they held any such fate, as is not consistent with the common and universal 
lotions that mankind have of liberty, activity, moral agency, virtue and vice, I 
disclaim any such thing, and think I have demonstrated that the scheme I main- 
tain is no such scheme. If the Stoics, by fate, meant any thing of such a 
nature, as can be supposed to stand in the way of the advantage and benefit of 
the use of means and endeavors, or makes it less worth the while for men to 
desire, and seek after any thing wherein their virtue and happiness consists ; I 
hold no doctrine that is clogged with any such inconvenience, any more than 
any other scheme whatsoever ; and by no means so much as the Arminian 
scheme of contingence ; as has been shown. If they held any such doctrine 
of universal fatality, as is inconsistent with any kind of liberty, that is or can 
be any perfection, dignity, privilege or benefit, or any thing 'desirable, in any 
respect, for any intelligent creature, or indeed with any liberty that is possible 
or conceivable ; 1 embrace no such doctrine. If they held any such doctrine 
of fate, as is inconsistent with the world's being in all things subject to the dis- 
posal of an intelligent, wise agent, that presides, not as the soul of the world, 
but as the Sovereign Lord of the Universe, governing all things by proper will, 
choice and design, in the exercise of the most perfect liberty conceivable, with 

* Whitby on the Five Points, Edit. III. p. 325, 326, 327 


out subjection to any constraint, or being properly under the power or influ- 
ence of any thing before, above or without himself, I wholly renounce any such 

As to Mr. Hobbes' maintaining the same doctrine concerning necessity, I 
confess, it happens I never read Mr. Hobbes. Let his opinion be what it will, 
we need not reject all truth which is demonstrated by clear evidence, merely 
because it was once held by some bad man. This great truth, that Jesus is the 
Son of God, was not spoiled because it was once and again proclaimed with a 
loud voice by the devil. If truth is so defiled, because it is spoken by the mouth, 
or written by the pen of some ill-minded mischievous man, that it must never be 
received, we shall never know, when we hold any of the most precious and 
evident truths by a sure tenure. And if Mr. Hobbes has made a bad use of 
this truth, that is to be lamented ; but the truth is not to be thought worthy of 
rejection on that account. It is common for the corruptions of the hearts of 
evil men to abuse the best things to vile purposes. 

I might also take notice of its having been observed, that the Arminians 
agree with Mr. Hobbes in many more things than the Calvinists.* As, in what 
he is said to hold concerning original sin, in denying the necessity of super- 
natural illumination, in denying infused grace, in denying the doctrine of justifi- 
cation by faith 'alone, and other thmgs. 


Concerning the Necessity of the Divine Will. 

Some may possibly object against what has been supposed of the absurdu 
and inconsistence of a self-determining power in the Will, and the impossibility 
of its being otherwise, than that the Will should be determined in every case 
by some motive, and by a motive which (as it stands in the view of the under- 
standing) is of superior strength to any appearing on the other side ; that if 
these things are true, it will follow, that not only the Will. of created minds, 
but the Will of God himself is necessary in all its determinations. Concerning 
which, says the author of the Essay on the Freedom of the Will in God and in 
the Creature, pages 85, 86, " What strange doctrine is this, contrary to all our 
ideas of the dominion of God 1 Does it not destroy the glory of his liberty of 
choice, and take away from the Creator and Governor and Benefactor of the 
world, that most free, and sovereign Agent, all the glory of this sort of freedom 'f 
Does it not seem to make him a kind of mechanical medium of fate, and intro- 
duce Mr. Hobbes' doctrine of fatality and necessity, into all things that God 
hath to do with 1 Does it not seem to represent the blessed God, as a Being 
of vast understanding, as well as power and efficiency, but still to leave him 
without a Will to choose among all the objects within his view 1 In short, it 
seems to make the blessed God a sort of Almighty Minister of Fate, under its 
universal and supreme influence ; as it was the professed sentiment of some of 
the ancients, that fate was above the gods." 

This is declaiming, rather than arguing ; and an application to men's 
imaginations and prejudices, rather than to mere reason. But I would calmly 
endeavor to consider, whether there be any reason in this frightful representa- 

• Dr. Gill, in his answer to Dr. Whitby, Vol. III. p, 183, &C 


tion. But before I enter upon a particular consideration of the matter, I would 
observe this ; that it is reasonable to suppose, it should be'.jrruch more difficult 
to express or conceive things according to exact metaphysical truth, relating 
to the nature and manner of the existence of things in the Divine Understand- 
ing and Will, and the operation of these faculties (if I may so call them) of 
.he Divine Mind, than in the human mind ; which is infinitely more within 
our view, and nearer to a proportion to the measure of our comprehension, and 
more commensurate to the use and import of human speech. Language is in- 
deed very deficient, in regard of terms, to express precise truth concerning our 
own "minds, and their faculties and operations. Words were first formed to 
express external things ; and those that are applied to express things internal 
and spiritual, are almost all borrowed, and used in a sort of figurative sense. 
Whence they are, most of them, attended with a great deal of ambiguity and 
unfixedness in their signification, occasioning innumerable doubts, difficulties 
and confusions, in inquiries and controversies, about things of this nature. But 
language is much less adapted to express things in the mind of the incompre- 
hensible Deity, precisely as they are. 

We find a great deal of difficulty in conceiving exactly of the nature of our 
own souls. And notwithstanding all the progress which has been made, in 
past and present ages, in this kind of knowledge, whereby our metaphysics, 
as it relates to these things, is brought to greater perfection than once it was ; 
yet, here is still work enough left for future inquiries and researches, and room 
for progress still to be made, for many ages and generations. But we had 
need to be infinitely able metaphysicians, to conceive with clearness, according 
to strict, proper and perfect truth, concerning the nature of the Divine Essence, 
and the modes of the action and operation of the powers of the Divine Mind. 

And it may be noted particularly, that though we are obliged to conceive of 
Borne things in God as consequent and dependent on others, and of some things 
pertaining to the Divine Nature and Will as the foundation of others, and so 
before others in the order of nature ; as, we must conceive of the knowledge and 
holiness of God as prior, in the order of nature, to his happiness \ the perfection 
of his understanding, as the foundation of his wise purposes and decrees ; the 
holiness of his nature, as the cause and reason of his holy determinations. And 
yet, when we speak of cause and effect, antecedent and consequent, fundamental 
and dependent, determining and determined, in the first Being, who is self-exist- 
ent, independent, of perfect and absolute simplicity and immutability, and the 
first cause of all things ; doubtless there must be less propriety in such represen- 
tations, than when we speak of derived dependent beings, who are compounded, 
and liable to perpetual mutation and succession. 

Having premised this, I proceed to observe concerning the forementioned 
author's exclamation, about the necessary determination of God's Will, in all 
things, by what he sees to be fittest and best. 

That all the seeming force of such objections and exclamations must arise 
from an imagination, that there is some sort of privilege or dignity in being 
without such a moral necessity, as will make it impossible to do any other, than 
always choose what is wisest and best ; as- though there were some disadvan- 
tage, meanness and subjection, in such a necessity ; a thing by which the Will 
was confined, kept under, and held in servitude by something, which, as it were, 
maintained a strong and invincible power and dominion over it, by bonds that 
held God fast, and that he could, by no means, deliver himself from. Whereas, 
this must be all mere imagination and delusion. It is no disadvantage or dis- 
honor to a being, necessarily to act in the most excellent and happy manner, 


from the necessary perfection of his own nature. This argues no imperfection, 
inferiority or dependence, nor any want of dignity, privilege or ascendency.* 
It is not inconsistent with the absolute and most perfect sovereignty of God. 
The sovereignty of God is his ability and authority to do whatever pleases him ; 
whereby He doth according to his Will in the armies of Heaven, and amongst the 
inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What dost 
thou ? — The following things belong to the sovereignty of God, viz. : 1. Su- 
preme, universal, and infinite Power, whereby he is able to do what he pleases, 
without control, without any confinement of that power, without any subjection, 
in the least measure, to any other power ; and so without any hinderance or 
restraint, that it should be either impossible, or at all difficult, for him to accom- 
plish his Will ; and without any dependence of his power on any other power, 
from whence it should be derived, or which it should stand in any need of : so 
far from this, that all other power is derived from him, and is absolutely depen- 
dent on him. 2. That He has supreme authority, absolute and most perfect 
right to do what he wills, without subjection to any superior authority, or any 
derivation of an authority from any other, or limitation by any distinct indepen- 
dent authority, either superior, equal, or inferior ; he being the head of all 
dominion, and fountain of all authority ; and also without restraint by any obli- 
gation, implying either subjection, derivation, or dependence, or proper limitation. 
3. That his Will is supreme, underived, and independent on any thing without 
Himself; being in every thing determined by his own counsel, having no other rule 
but his own wisdom ; his Will not being subject to, or restrained by the Will of 
any other, and other Wills being perfectly subject to his. 4. That his Wisdom, 
which determines his Will, is supreme, perfect, underived, self-sufficient and in- 
dependent ; so that it may be said, as in Isa. xl. 14, With whom took He 

* " It might have been objected, with more plausibleness, that the Supreme Cause cannot be free, be - 
cause he must needs do always what is best in the whole. But this would not at all serve Spinoza's 
purpose ; for this is a necessity, not of nature and of fate, but of fitness and wisdom ; a necessity consis- 
tent with the greatest freedom, and most perfect choice. For the only foundation of this necessity is such 
an unalterable rectitude of Will, and perfection of wisdom, as makes it impossible for a wise Being to act 
foolishly." Clark's Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God. Edit. 6, p. 64. 

" Though God is a most perfect free agent, yet he cannot but do what is best and wisest on the whole. 
The reason is evident ; because perfect wisdom and goodness are as steady and certain principles of 
action, as necessity itself ; and an infinitely wise and good Being, indued with the most perfect liberty, 
can no more choose to act in contradiction to wisdom and goodness, than a necessary agent can act con- 
trary to the necessity by which it is acted ; it being as great an absurdity and impossibility in choice, for 
infinite Wisdom to choose to act unwisely, or Infinite Goodness to choose what is not good, as it would 
be in nature, for absolute necessity to fail of producing its necessary effect. There was, indeed, no ne- 
cessity in nature, that God should at first create such beings as he has created, or indeed any being at 
all, because he is, in Himself, infinitely happy and all-sufficient. There was also, no necessity in nature, 
that he should preserve and continue things in being, after they were created ; because he would be self 
sufficient without their continuance, as he was before their creation. But it was fit, and wise, and good, 
that Infinite Wisdom should manifest, arid Infinite Goodness communicate itself ; and therefore it was 
necessary, in the sense of necessity I am now speaking of, that things should be made at such a time, 
and continued so long, and indeed with various perfections in such degrees, as Infinite Wisdom and 
Goodness saw it best and wisest that they should." Ibid. p. 112, 113. 

"Tis not a fault, but a perfection of our nature, to desire, will, and act, according to the last result 
of a fair examination. This is so far from being a restraint or diminution of freedom, that it is the very im- 
provement, and benefit of it. 'Tis not an abridgment, 'tis the end and use of our liberty ; and the further 
we are removed from such a determination, the nearer we are to misery and slavery. A perfect indiffer- 
ence in the mind, not determinable by its last judgment, of the good or evil that is thought to attend its 
choice, would be so far from being an advantage and excellency of any intellectual nature, that it would 
be as great an imperfection, as the want of indifferency to act, or not to act, till determined by the Will, 
would be an imperfection on the other side. 'Tis as much a perfection, that desire, or the power of 
preferring should be determined by good, as that the power of acting should be determined by the Will : 
and the more certain such determination is, the greater the perfection. Nay, were we determined by 
any thing but the last result, of our own minds, judging of the good or evil of any action, we were not 
tree. The very end of our freedom being that we might attain the good we choose ; and, therefore, every 
man is brought under a necessity by his constitution, as an intelligent being, to be determined in willing 
oy his own thought and judgment, what is best for him to do ; else he would be under the determination 
ol some other than himself, which is want of liberty. And to deny that a man's Will, in every determi- 


counsel ? And who instructed Him and taught Him in the path of judgment, 
and taught Him knowledge, and showed Him the way of understanding ? — There 
is no other Divine Sovereignty but this, and this is properly absolute sovereignty ; 
no other is desirable, nor would any other be honorable, or happy, and indeed, 
there is no other conceivable or possible. It is the glory and greatness of the 
Divine Sovereignty, that God's Will is determined by his own infinite all-suffi- 
cient wisdom in every thing ; and in nqthing is either directed by any inferior 
wisdom, or by no wisdom ; whereby it would become senseless arbitrariness, 
determining and acting without reason, design or end. 

If God's Will is steadily and surely determined in every thing by supreme wis- 
dom, then it is in every thing necessarily determined to that which is most wise. 
And, certainly, it would be a disadvantage and indignity to be otherwise. For 
if the Divine Will was not necessarily determined to that, which in every case 
is wisest and best, it must be subject to some degree of undesigning contingence ; 
and so in the same degree liable to evil. To suppose the Divine Will liable to 
be carried hither and thither at random, by the uncertain wind of blind contin- 
gence, which is guided by no wisdom, no motive, no intelligent dictate whatsoever 
(if any such thing were possible), would certainly argue a great degree of im- 
perfection and meanness, infinitely unworthy of the Deity. If it be a disad- 
vantage for the Divine Will to be attended with this moral necessity, then the 
more free from it, and the more left at random, the greater dignity and advantage. 
And, consequently, to be perfectly free from the direction of understanding, and 
universally and entirely left to senseless, unmeaning contingence, to act absolutely 
at random, would be the supreme glory. 

It no more argues any dependence of God's Will, that his supremely wise voli- 
tion is necessary, than it argues a dependence of his being, that his existence is 
necessary. If it be something too low, for the Supreme Being to have his Will 

nation, follows his own judgment, is to say, that a man wills and acts for an end that he would not have, 
at the same time that he wills and acts for it. For if he prefers it in his present thoughts, before any 
other, it is plain he then thinks better of it, and would have it before any other, unless he can have, and 
not have it, will, and not will it, at the same time ; a contradiction too manifest to be admitted. If we 
look upon those superior beings above us, who enjoy perfect happiness, we shall have reason to judge, 
that they are more steadily determined in their choice of good than we ; and yet we have no reason to 
think they are less happy, or less free, than we are. And if it were fit for such poor finite creatures as we 
are, to pronounce what Infinite Wisdom and Goodness could do, I think we might say, that God himselt 
cannot choose what is not good. The freedom of the Almighty hinders not his being determined by what 
is best. But to give a right view of this mistaken part of liberty, let me ask, would any one be a change 
ling, because he is less determined by wise determination, than a wise man ? Is it worth the name of 
freedom, to be at liberty to play the fool, and draw shame and misery upon a man's self? If to break 
loose from the conduct of reason, and to want that restraint of examination and judgment, that keeps us 
from doing or choosing the worse, be liberty, true liberty, madmen and fools are the only free men. Yet 
I think, nobody would choose to be mad, for the sake of such libertv, but he that is mad already." Locke, 
Hum. Und. Vol. I. Edit. 7, p. 215, 216. 

" This Being, having all things always necessarily in view, must always, and eternally will, accord- 
ing to his infinite comprehension of things ; that is, must will all things that are wisest and best to be 
done. There is no getting free of this consequence. If it can will at all, it must will this way. To be 
capable of knowing, and not capable of willing, is not to be understood. And to be capable of willing 
otherwise than what is wisest and best, contradicts that knowledge which is infinite. Infinite knowledge 
must direct the Will without error. Here then, is the origin of moral necessity; and that is really, ol 
freedom. Perhaps it may be said, when the Divine Will is determined, from the consideration of the 
eternal aptitude of things, it is as necessarily determined, as if it were physically impelled, if that 
were possible. But it is unskilfulness, to suppose this an objection. The great principle is once es- 
tablished, viz., that the Divine Will is determined by the eternal reason and aptitudes of things, instead 
of being physically impelled ; and after that, the more strong and necessary this determination is, the 
more perfect the Deity must be allowed to be. It is this that makes him an amiable and adorable Being, 
whose Will and power are constantly, immutably, determined by the consideration of what is wisest and 
best , instead of a surd Being, with power, but without discerning and reason. It is the beauty of this 
necessity, that it is strong as fate itself, with all the advantage of reason and goodness. It is strange, to 
see men contend, that the Deity is not free, because he is necessarily rational, immutably good and wise ; 
when a man is allowed still the perfecter being, the more fixedly and constantly his Will is determined by 
reason and truth." Inquiry into the Nature of the Hum. Soul Edit. 3, Vol. II. p. 403, 404. 

Vol II. 19 


determined by moral Necessity, so as necessarily, in every case, to will in the 
highest degree holily and happily ; then why is it not also something too low, 
for him to have his existence, and the infinite perfection of his nature, and his 
infinite happiness determined by necessity ? It is no more to God's dishonor, 
to be necessarily wise, than to be necessarily holy. And if neither of them be 
to his dishonor, then it is not to his dishonor necessarily to act holily and wisely 
And if it be not dishonorable to be necessarily holy and wise, in the highest 
possible degree, no more is it mean and dishonorable, necessarily to act holily 
and wisely in the highest possible degree ; or, which is the same thing, to do 
that, in every case, which, above all other things, is wisest and best. 

The reason, why it is not dishonorable to be necessarily most holy, is, be- 
cause holiness in itself is an excellent and honorable thing. For the same 
reason, it is no dishonor to be necessarily most wise, and, in every case, to act 
most wisely, or do the thing which is the wisest of all ; for wisdom is also in 
itself excellent and honorable. 

The forementioned author of the Essay on the Freedom of the Will, &c, 
as has been observed, represents that doctrine of the Divine Will's being in every 
thing necessarily determined by superior fitness, as making the blessed God a 
kind of Almighty Minister and mechanical medium of fate J and he insists, pages 
93, 94, that this moral necessity and impossibility is, in effect, the same thing 
with physical and natural necessity and impossibility : and in p. 54, 55, he says, 
" The scheme which determines the Will always and certainly by the under- 
standing, and the understanding by the appearance of things, seems to take away 
the true nature of vice and virtue. For the sublimest of virtues, and the vilest 
of vices, seem rather to be matters of fate and necessity, flowing naturally and 
necessarily from the existence, the circumstances, and present situation of persons 
and things ; for this existence and situation necessarily makes such an appear- 
ance to the mind ; from this appearance flows a necessary perception and 
judgment, concerning these things ; this judgment, necessarily determines the 
Will ; and thus, by this chain of necessary causes, virtue and vice would lose 
their nature, and become natural ideas, and necessary things, instead of moral 
and free actions." 

And yet this same author allows, p. 30, 31, that a perfectly wise being will 
constantly and certainly choose what is most fit ; and says, p. 102, 103, " I 
grant, and always have granted, that wheresoever there is such antecedent 
superior fitness of things, God acts according to it, so as never to contradict it ; 
and, particularly ; in all his judicial proceedings as a Governor, and distributer ol 
rewards and punishments." Yea, he says expressly, p. 42, " That it is not 
possible for God to act otherwise, than according to this fitness and goodness 
in things." 

So that according to this author, putting these several passages of his Essay 
together, there is no virtue, nor any thing of a moral nature, in the most sublime 
and glorious acts and exercises of God's holiness, justice, and faithfulness ; and 
he never does any thing which is in itself supremely worthy, and, above all 
other things, fit and excellent, but only as a kind of mechanical medium of fate ; 
and in what he does as the Judge and moral Governor of the world, he exercises 
no moral excellency ; exercising no freedom in these things, because he acts by 
moral necessity, which is. in effect, the same with physical or natural necessity ; 
and, therefore, he only acts by an Hobistical fatality ; as a Being indeed of vast 
understanding, as well as power and efficiency (as he said before), but without a 
Will to choose, being a kind of Almighty Minister of fate, acting under its su- 
preme influence. For he allows, that in all these things . God's Will is determined 


constantly and certainty by a superior fitness, and that it is not possible for him 
to act otherwise. And if these things are so, what glory or praise belongs to 
God for doing holily and justly, or taking the most fit, holy, wise and excellent 
course, in any one instance ? Whereas, according to the Scriptures, and alsc 
the common sense of mankind, it does not, in the least, derogate from the honor 
of any being, that through the moral perfection of his nature, he necessarily act? 
with supreme wisdom and holiness ; but on the contrary, his praise is the great- 
er ; herein consists the height of his glory. 

The same author, p. 56, supposes, that herein appears the excellent 
character of a wise and good man, that though he can choose contrary to the fit- 
ness of things, yet he does not ; but suffers himself to be directed by fitness ; and 
that, in this conduct, he imitates the blessed God. And yet, he supposes it is 
contrariwise with the blessed God ; not that he suffers himself to be directed by 
fitness, when he can choose contrary to the fitness of things, but that- he cannot 
choose contrary to the fitness of things ; as .he says, p. 42, that it is not possi- 
ble for God to act otherwise than according to this fitness, where there is any 
fitness or goodness in things. Yea, he supposes, p. 31, that if a man were 
perfectly wise and good, he could not do otherwise than be constantly and certainly 
determined by the fitness of things. 

One thing more I would observe, before I conclude this section ; and that is, 
that if it derogates nothing from the glory of God, to be necessarily determined 
by superior fitness in some things, then neither does it to be thus determined in 
all things : from any thing in the nature of such necessity, as at all detracting 
from God's freedom, independence, absolute supremacy, or any dignity or glory 
of his nature, state or manner of acting ; or as implying any infirmity, restraint, 
or subjection. And if the thing be such as well consists with God's glory, and 
has nothing tending to detract from it ; then we need not be afraid of ascribing 
it to God in too many things, lest thereby we should detract from God's glory 
too much. 


Some further Objections against the moral Necessity of God's Volitions considered. 

The author last cited, as has been observed, owns that God, being perfectly 
wise, will constantly and certainly choose what appears most fit, where there is 
a superior fitness and goodness in things ; and that it is not possible for him to 
do otherwise. So that it is in effect confessed, that in those things where there 
is any real preferableness, it is no dishonor, nothing in any respect unworthy oi 
God, for him to act from necessity ; notwithstanding all that can be objected 
from the agreement of such a necessity, with the fate of the Stoics, and the 
necessity, maintained by Mr. Hobbes. From which it will follow, that if it 
were so, that in all the different things, among which God chooses, there were 
evermore a superior fitness, or preferableness on one side, then it would be no 
dishonor, or any thing, in any respect, unw r orthy, or unbecoming of God, for 
his Will to be necessarily determined in every thing. And if this be allowed, 
it is a giving up entirely the argument, from the unsuitableness of such a neces- 
sity to the liberty, supremacy, independence and glory of the Divine Being : 
and a resting the whole weight of the affair on the decision of another point 
wholly diverse ; viz., whether it be so indeed, that in all the various possible 
things, which are in God's view, and may be considered as capable objects ol 


his choice, there is not evermore a preferableness in one thing above another 
This is denied by this author ; who supposes, that in many instances, betweer 
two or more possible things, which come within the view of the divine mind, 
there is a perfect indifference and equality, as to fitness or tendency to attain 
any good end which God can have in view, or to answer any of his designs. 
Now, therefore, I would consider whether this be evident. 

The arguments brought to prove this, are of two kinds. (1.) It is urged, 
that in many instances, we must suppose there is absolutely no difference be- 
tween various possible objects of choice, w T hich God has in view : and (2,) that 
the difference between many things is so inconsiderable, or of such a nature, 
that it would be unreasonable to suppose it to be of any consequence ; or to 
suppose that any of God's wise designs would not be answered in one way as 
well as the other. Therefore, 

I. The first thing to be considered is, whether there are any instances 
wherein there is a perfect likeness, and absolutely no difference, between differ- 
ent objects of choice, that are proposed to the Divine Understanding ? 

And here, in the first place, it may be worthy to be considered, whether the 
contradiction there is in the terms of the question proposed, does not give reason 
to suspect, that there is an inconsistence in the thing supposed. It is inquired, 
whether different objects of choice may not be absolutely without difference ? 
If they are absolutely without difference, then how are they different objects of 
choice ? If there be absolutely no difference, in any respect, then there is no 
variety or distinction ; for distinction is only by some difference. And if there 
be no variety among proposed objects of choice, then there is no opportunity for 
variety of choice, or difference of determination. For that determination of a 
thing, which is not different in any respect, is not a different determination, but 
the same. That this is no quibble, may appear more fully anon. 

The arguments, to prove that the Most High, in some instances, chooses to 
do one thing rather than another, where the things themselves are perfectly 
without difference, are two. 

1. That the various parts of infinite time and space, absolutely considered, 
are perfectly alike, and do not differ at all one from another ; and that therefore, 
when God determined to create the worlcWin such a part of infinite duration and 
space, rather than others, he determined and preferred, among various objects, 
between which there was no preferableness, and absolutely no difference. 

Answ. This objection supposes an infinite length of time before the world 
was created, distinguished by successive parts, properly and truly so ; or a suc- 
cession of limited and unmeasurable periods of time, following one another, in 
an infinitely long series ; which must needs be a groundless imagination. The 
eternal duration which was before the world, being only the eternity of God's 
existence ; which is nothing else but his immediate, perfect and invariable pos- 
session of the whole of his unlimited life, together and at once : Vita intermin- 
abilis, tota, simul et perfeda possessio. Which is so generally allowed, that I 
need not stand to demonstrate it.* 

* "If all created beings were taken away, all possibility of any mutation or succession, of one thing 
to another, would appear to be also removed. Abstract succession in eternity is scarce to be understood. 
w hat is it that succeeds ? One minute to another, perhaps, velut unda supervenit undam. But when we 
imagine this, we fancy that the minutes are things separately existing. This is the common notion : and 
yet it is a manifest prejudice. Time is nothing but the existence of created successive beings, and eternity 
the necessary existence of the Deity. Therefore, if this necessary being hath no change or succession in his 
nature, his existence must of course be unsuccessive. We seem to commit a double oversight in this case ; 
nrst, we nnd succession in the necessary nature and existence of the Deity himself; which is wrong, if the 
reasoning above be conclu&ive. And then we ascribe this succession to eternity, considered abstractedly 
irom the Eternal Being ; and suppose it, one knows not w hat, a thing subsisting by itself, and flowing one 
minute alter another. This is the work of pure imagination, and contrary to the reality of things. Hence the 


So this objection supposes an extent of space beyond the limits of the crea- 
tion of an infinite length, breadth and depth, truly and properly distinguished 
into different measurable parts, limited at certain stages, one beyond another, in 
an infinite series. Which notion of absolute and infinite space is doubtless as 
unreasonable, as that now mentioned, of absolute and infinite duration. It is as 
improper to imagine that the immensity and omnipresence of God is distinguish- 
ed by a series of miles and leagues, one beyond another ; as that the infinite 
duration of God is distinguished by months and years, one after another. A 
diversity and order of distinct parts, limited by certain periods, is as conceivable, 
and does as naturally obtrude itself on our imagination, in one case as the 
other ; and there is equal reason in each case, to suppose that our imagination 
deceives us. It is equally improper to talk of months and years of the Divine 
Existence, and railesquares of Deity ; and we equally deceive ourselves, when 
we talk of the world's being differently fixed with respect to either of these 
sorts of measures. I think, we know not what we mean, if we say, the world 
might have been differently placed from what it is, in the broad expanse of 
infinity ; or, that it might have been differently fixed in the long line of eternity ; 
and all arguments and objections, which are built on the imaginations we are 
apt to have of infinite extension or duration, are buildings founded on shadows, 
or castles in the air. 

2. The second argument, to prove that the Most High wills one thing 
vather than another, without any superior fitness or preferableness in the thing 
preferred, is God's actually placing in different parts of the world, particles, or 
atoms of matter, that are perfectly equal and alike. The forementioned author 
says, p. 78, &c, " If one would descend to the minute specific particles, of 
which different bodies are composed, we should see abundant reason to believe, 
that there are thousands of such little particles, or atoms of matter, which are 
perfectly equal and alike, and could give no distinct determination to the Will 
of God, where to place them." He there instances in particles of water^ of 
which there are such immense numbers, which compose the rivers and oceans 
of this world ; and the infinite myriads of the luminous and fiery particles, which 
compose the body of the sun ; so many, that it w T ould be very unreasonable to 
suppose no two of them should be exactly equal and alike. 

Answ. ( 1.) To this I answer : that as we must suppose matter to be infinitely 
divisible, it is very unlikely, that any two, of all these particles, are exactly 
equal and alike ; so unlikely, that it is a thousand to one, yea, an infinite num- 
ber to one, but it is otherwise ; and that although we should allow a great simi- 
larity between the different particles of water and fire, as to their general nature 
and figure ; and however small we suppose those particles to be, it is infinitely 
unlikely, that any two of them should be exactly equal in dimensions and quan- 
tity of matter. If we should suppose a great many globes of the same nature 
with the globe of the earth, it would be very strange, if there were any two of 
them that had exactly the same number of particles of dust and water in them. 

common metaphorical expressions : time runs apace, let us lay hold on the present minute, and the like. The 
philosophers themselves mislead us by their illustrations. They compare eternity to the motion of a point 
running on forever, and making a traceless infinite line. Here the point is supposed a thing actually 
subsisting, representing the present minute ; and then they ascribe motion or succession to it ; that is, 
they ascribe motion to a mere nonentity, to illustrate to us a successive eternity, made up of finite suc- 
cessive parts. If once we allow an all perfect mind, which hath an eternal, immutable and infinite 
comprehension of all things, always (and allow it we must) the distinction of past and future vanishes 
with respect to such a mind. — In a word, if we proceed step by step, as above, the eternity or existence 
of the Deity will appear to be Vita interminabilis, tota,simul et perfecta possessio ; how much soever this 
may have been a paradox hitherto." Inquiry into the Nature of the Human Soul. Vol. II. p. 409, 410 
411. Edit. III. ^ W 


But infinitely less strange, than that two particles of light should have just the 
same quantity of matter. For a particle of light, according to the doctrine of 
the infinite divisibility of matter, is composed of infinitely more assignable parts, 
than there are particles of dust and water in the globe of the earth. And as it 
is infinitely unlikely, that any two of these particles should be equal ; so it is, 
that they should be alike in other respects ; to instance in the configuration of 
their surfaces. If there were very many globes, of the nature of the earth, it 
would be very unlikely that any two should have exactly the same number o( 
particles of dust, water and stone, in their surfaces, and all posited exactly alike, 
one with respect to another, without any difference, in any part discernible 
either by the naked eye or microscope ; but infinitely less strange, than that two 
particles of light should be perfectly of the same figure. For there are infinitely 
more assignable real parts on the surface of a particle of light than there are 
particles of dust, water and stone, on the surface of the terrestrial globe. 

Answ. (2.) But then, supposing that there are two particles, or atoms of 
matter, perfectly equal and alike, which God has placed indifferent parts of the 
creation ; as I will not deny it to be possible for God to make two bodies per- 
fectly alike, and put them in different places ; yet it will not follow, that two 
different or distinct acts or effects of the Divine Power have exactly the same 
fitness for the same ends. For these two different bodies are not different or 
distinct in any other respects than those wherein they differ : they are two 
in no other respects than those wherein there is a difference. If they are 
perfectly equal and alike in themselves, then they can be distinguished, or 
be distinct, only in those things which are called circumstances ; as place, time, 
rest, motion, or some other present or past circumstances or relations. For 
it is difference only that constitutes distinction. If God makes two bodies, in 
themselves every way equal and alike, and agreeing perfectly in all other cir- 
cumstances and relations, but only their place ; then in this only is there any 
distinction or duplicity. The figure is the same, the measure is the same, the 
solidity and resistance are the same, and every thing the same only the place. 
Therefore what the Will of God determines, is this, namely, that there should 
be the same figure, the same extension, the same resistance, &c, in two differ- 
ent places. And for this determination he has some reason. There is some 
end, for which such a determination and act has a peculiar fitness, above all 
other acts. Here is no one thing determined without an end, and no one thing 
without a fitness for that end, superior to any thing else. If it be the pleasure 
of God to cause the same resistance, and the same figure, to be in two different 
places and situations, we can no more justly argue from it, that here must be 
some determination or act of God's Will that is wholly without motive or end, 
than we can argue, that whenever, in any case it is a man's Will to speak the 
same words, or make the same sounds at two different times ; there must be 
some determination or act of his Will, without any motive or end. The differ- 
ence of place, in the former case, proves no more than the difference of time 
does in the other. If any one should say, with regard to the former case, that 
there must be something determined without an end, viz., that of those two sim- 
ilar bodies, this in particular should be made in this place, and the other in the 
other, and should inquire, why the Creator did not make them in a transposition, 
when both are alike, and each would equally have suited either place ? The 
inquiry supposes something that is not true, namely, that the two bodies differ 
and are distinct in other respects besides their place. So that with this distinc- 
tion inherent in them, they might, in their first creation, have been transposed, 
and each might have begun its existence in the place of the other. 


Let us, for clearness sake, suppose, that God had, at the beginning, made 
two globes, each of an inch diameter, both perfect spheres, and perfectly solid, 
without pores, and perfectly alike in every respect, and placed them near one to 
another, one towards the right hand, and the other towards the left, without any 
difference as to time, motion or rest, past or present, or any circumstance, but 
only their place ; and the question should be asked, why God in their creation 
placed them so : why that which is made on the right hand, was not made on the 
left, and vice versa ? Let it be well considered, whether there be any sense in 
such a question ; and whether the inquiry does not suppose something false and 
absurd. Let it be considered, what the Creator must have done otherwise than 
he did, what diffi rent act of Will or power he must have exerted, in order to 
the thing proposed. All that could have been done, would have been to have 
made two spheres perfectly alike, in the same places where he has made them, 
without any difference of the things made, either in themselves or in any cir- 
cumstance ; so that the whole effect would have been without any difference, 
and therefore, just the same. By the supposition, the two spheres are different 
in no other respect but their place ; and therefore in other respects they are the 
same. Each has the same roundness ; it is not a distinct rotundity, in any 
other respect but its situation. There are also the same dimensions, differing in 
nothing but their place. And so of their resistance, and every thing else that 
belongs to them. 

Here, if any chooses to say, " that there is a difference in another respect, 
viz., that they are not NUMERICALLY the same ; that it is thus with all the 
qualities that belong to them ; that it is confessed they are, in some respects, the 
same ; that is, they are both exactly alike ; but yet numerically they differ. 
Thus the roundness of one is not the same numerical individual roundness with 
that of the other." Let this be supposed ; then the question about the deter- 
mination of the Divine Will in the affair, is, Why did God will, that this indivi- 
dual roundness should be at the right hand, and the other individual roundness 
at the left ? Why did he not make them in a contrary position ? Let any 
rational person consider, whether such questions be not words without a mean- 
ing, as much as if God should see fit for some ends, to cause the same sounds to 
be repeated, or made at two different times ; the sounds being perfectly the 
same in every respect, but only one was a minute after the other ; and it should 
be asked upon it, why did God cause these sounds, numerically different, to suc- 
ceed one the other in such a manner ? Why did he not make that individual 
sound, which was in the first minute, to be in the second 1 And the individual 
sound of the last minute to be in the first ? These inquiries would be even ridi- 
culous ; as, I think, every person must see, at once, in the case proposed of two 
sounds, being only the same repeated, absolutely without any difference, but that 
one circumstance of time. If the Most High sees it will answer some good end, 
that the same sound should be made by lightning at two distinct times, and 
therefore wills that it should be so, must it needs therefore be, that herein there 
is some act of God's Will without any motive or end ? God saw fit often, at 
distinct times, and on different occasions, to say the very same words to Moses, 
namely, those, I am Jehovah. And would it not be unreasonable to infer, as a 
certain consequence, from this, that here must be some act or acts of the Divine 
Will, in determining and disposing these words exactly alike, at different times, 
wholly without aim or inducement 1 But it would be no more unreasonable 
than to say, that there must be an act of God's without any inducement, if he 
sees it best, and, for some reasons, determines that there shall be the same resis- 
tance, the same dimensions, and the same figure, in several distinct places. 


If, in the instance of the two spheres, perfectly alike, it be supposed possible 
that God might have made them in a contrary position ; that which is made at 
the right hand being made at the left; then I ask, whether it is not evidently 
equally possible, if God had made but one of them, and that in the place of the 
right hand globe, that he might have made that numerically different from what 
it is, and numerically different from what he did make it, though perfectly 
alike, and in the same place; and at the same time, and in every respect, 
in the same circumstances and relations ? Namely, whether he might not 
have made it numerically the same with that which he has now made 
at the left hand, and so have left that which is now created at the right 
hand, in a state of nonexistence ? And, if so, whether it would not have 
been possible to have made one in that place, perfectly like these, and yet 
numerically differing from both 1 And let it be considered, whether, from this 
notion of a numerical difference in bodies, perfectly equal and alike, which 
numerical difference is something inherent in the bodies themselves, and diverse 
from the difference of place or time, or any circumstance whatsoever ; it will 
not follow, that there is an infinite number of numerically different possible 
bodies, perfectly alike, among which God chooses, by a self-determining power, 
when he goes about to create bodies. 

Therefore let us put the case thus : supposing that God, in the beginning, 
had created but one perfectly solid sphere, in a certain place ; and it should be 
inquired, Why God created that individual sphere, in that place, at that time 1 
And why he did not create another sphere, perfectly like it, but numerically 
different, in the same place, at the same time ? Or why he chose to brino- into 
being there, that very body, rather than any of the infinite number of other 
bodies, perfectly like it ; either of which he could have made there as well, and 
would have answered his end as well ? Why he caused to exist, at that place 
and time, that individual roundness, rather than any other of the infinite number 
of individual rotundities just like it 1 Why that individual resistance, rather than 
any other of the; infinite number of possible resistances just like it ? And it 
might as reasonably be asked, Why, when God first caused it to thunder, he 
caused that individual sound then to be made, and not another just like it ? 
Why did he make choice of this very sound, and reject all the infinite number 
of other possible sounds just like it, but numerically differing from it, and all 
differing one from another ? I think, every body must be sensible of the absur- 
dity and nonsense of what is supposed in such inquiries. And, if we calmly 
attend to the matter, we shall be convinced, that all such kind of objections as 
I am answering, are founded on nothing but the imperfection of our manner of 
conceiving things, and the obscureness of language, and great want of clearness 
and precision in the signification of terms. 

If any shall find fault with this reasoning, that it is going a great length in 
metaphysical niceties and subtilties, I answer, the objection which they are in reply 
to, is a metaphysical subtilty, and must be treated according to the nature of it* 

II. Another thing alleged is, that innumerable things which are determined 
by the Divine Will, and chosen and done by God rather than others, differ from 
those that are not chosen in so inconsiderable a manner, that it would be un- 
reasonable to suppose the difference to be of any consequence, or that there is 
any superior fitness or goodness, that God can have respect to in the deter- 

. * " ^V", 6 " to hav f reC0UISe to subtilties, in raising difficulties, and then complain, that they shouK 
be taken oft by minutely examining these subtilties, is a strange kind of procedure." Nature of tht 
Human Soul, Vol. II. page 331. 


To which I answer ; it is impossible for us to determine, with any certainty 
or evidence, that because the difference is very small, and appears to us of no 
consideration, therefore there is absolutely no superior goodness, and no valuable 
end, which can be proposed by the Creator and Governor of the world, in 
ordering such a difference. The forementioned author mentions many instances. 
One is, there being one atom in the whole universe more or less. But I think, 
it would be unreasonable to suppose, that God made one atom in vain, or 
without any end or motive. He made not one atom, but what was a work 
of his Almighty power, as much as the whole globe of the earth, and requires 
as much of a constant exertion of Almighty power to uphold it; and was 
made and is upheld understandingly, and on design, as much as if no other 
had been made but that. And it would be as unreasonable to suppose, that 
he made it without any thing really aimed at in so doing, as much as to suppose, 
that he made the planet Jupiter without aim or design. 

It is possible, that the most minute effects of the Creator's power, the small- 
est assignable difference between the things which God has made, may be 
attended, in the whole series of events, and the whole compass and extent of 
their influence, with very great and important consequences. If the laws of 
motion and gravitation, laid down by Sir Isaac Newton, hold universally, there 
is not one atom, nor the least assignable part of an atom, but what has influence, 
every moment, throughout the whole material universe, to cause every part to 
be otherwise than it would be, if it were not for that particular corporeal exist- 
ence. And however the effect is insensible for the present, yet it may, in length 
of time, become great and important. 

To illustrate this, let us suppose two bodies moving the same way, in straight 
lines, perfectly parallel one to another ; but to be diverted from this parallel 
course, and drawn one from another, as much as might be by the attraction of 
an atom, at the distance of one of the furthest of the fixed stars from the earth ; 
these bodies being turned out of the lines of their parallel motion, will, by de- 
grees, get further and further distant, one from the other ; and though the dis- 
tance may be imperceptible for a long time, yet at length it may become veiy 
great. So the revolution of a planet round the sun being retarded or accel- 
erated, and the orbit of its revolution made greater or less, and more or less 
elliptical, and so its periodical time longer or shorter, no more than may be by 
the influence of the least atom, might, in length of time, perform a whole revo- 
lution sooner or later than otherwise it w^ould have done ; which might make a 
vast alteration with regard to millions of important events. So the influence of 
the least particle may, for aught we know, have such effect on something in the 
constitution of some human body, as to cause another thought to arise in the 
mind at a certain time, than otherwise would have been ; which, in length of 
time (yea, and that not very great), might occasion a vast alteration through 
the whole world of mankind. And so innumerable other ways might be men- 
tioned, wherein the least assignable alteration may possibly be attended with 
great consequences. 

Another argument, which the forementioned author brings against a neces- 
sary determination of the Divine Will, by a superior fitness, is, that such doctrine 
derogates from the freeness of God's grace and goodness, in choosing the objects 
of his favor and bounty, and from the obligation upon men to thankfulness for 
special benefits. Page 89, &c. 

In answer to this objection, I would observe, 

1 That it derogates no more from the goodness of God, to suppose the 
exercise of the benevolence of his nature to be determined by wisdom, than to 

Vol. II. 20 


suppose it determined by chance, and that his favors are bestowed altogether at 
random, his Will being determined by nothing but perfect accident, without 
any end or design whatsoever ; which must be the case, as has been demon- 
strated, if volition be not determined by a prevailing motive. That which is 
owing to perfect contingence, wherein neither previous inducement, nor antece- 
dent choice has any hand, is not owing more to goodness or benevolence, than 
that which is owing to the influence of a wise end. 

2. It is acknowledged, that if the motive that determines the Will of God, 
in the choice of the objects of his favors, be any moral quality in the object, 
recommending that object to his benevolence above others, his choosing that 
object is not so great a manifestation of the freeness and sovereignty of his grace, 
as if it were otherwise. But there is no necessity of supposing this, in order to 
our supposing that he has some wise end in view, in determining to bestow his 
favors on one person rather than another. We are to distinguish between the merit 
of the object of God's favor, or a moral qualification of the object attracting that 
favor and recommending to it, and the natural fitness of such a determination of the 
act of God's goodness, to answer some wise designs of his own, some end in the 
view of God's omniscience. It is God's own act, that is the proper and immedi- 
ate object of his volition. 

3. I suppose that none will deny, but that, in some instances, God acts from 
wise designs in determining the particular subjects of his favors. None will say, 
I presume, that when God distinguishes, by his bounty, particular societies or 
persons, He never, in any instance, exercises any wisdom in so doing, aiming 
at some happy consequence. And, if it be not denied to be so in some instances, 
then I would inquire, whether, in these instances, God's goodness is less mani- 
fested, than in those wherein God has no aim or end at all ? And whether the 
subjects have less cause of thankfulness ? And if so, who shall be thankful for 
the bestowment of distinguishing mercy, with that enhancing circumstance of 
the distinction's being made without an end ? How shall it be known when 
God is influenced by some wise aim, and when not ? It is very manifest, with 
respect to the Apostle Paul, that God had wise ends in choosing him to be a 
Christian and an Apostle, who had been a persecutor, &c. The Apostle him- 
self mentions one end. 1 Tim.i.15, 16, Christ Jesus came into the world to save 
sinners, of whom I am chief. Howbeit,for this cause T obtained mercy, that in 
me first, Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them 
who should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting. But yet the Apostle 
never looked on it as a diminution of the freedom and riches of Divine Grace in 
his election, which he so often and so greatly magnifies. This brings me to observe, 

4. Our supposing such a moral necessity in the acts of God's Will, as has 
been spoken of, is so far from necessarily derogating from the riches of God's 
grace to such as are the chosen objects of his favor, that, in many instances, 
this moral necessity may arise from goodness, and from the great degree of it. 
God may choose this object rather than another, as having a superior fitness to 
answer the ends, designs and inclinations of his goodness ; being more sinful, 
and so more miserable and necessitous than others ; the inclinations of Infinite 
Mercy and Benevolence may be more gratified, and the gracious design of God's 
sending his Son into the world, may be more abundantly answered, in the ex- 
ercises of mercy towards such an object, rather than another. 

One thing more I would observe, before I finish what I have to say on the 
head of the necessity of the acts of God's Will ; and that is, that something- 
much more like a servile subjection of the Divine Being to fatal necessity, will 
follow from Arminian principles, than from the doctrines which they oppose 


For they (at least most of them) suppose, with respect to all events that hap- 
pen in the moral world, depending on the volitions of moral agents, which are 
the most important events of the universe, to which all others are subordinate ; 
I say, they suppose, with respect to these, that God has a certain foreknowledge 
of them, antecedent to any purposes or decrees of his, about them. And if so, 
they have a fixed certain futurity, prior to any designs or volitions of his, and 
independent on them, and to which his volitions must be subject, as he would 
wisely accommodate his affairs to this fixed futurity of the state of things in the 
moral world. So that here, instead of a moral necessity of God's Will, arising 
from, or consisting in, the infinite perfection and blessedness of the Divine Being, 
we have a fixed unalterable state of things, properly distinct from the perfect 
nature of the Divine Mind, and the state of the Divine Will and Design, and en- 
tirely independent on these things, and, which they have no hand in, because they 
are prior to them ; and which God's Will is truly subject to, he being obliged to 
conform or accommodate himself to it, in all his purposes and decrees, and in every 
thing he does in his disposals and government of the world ; the moral world being 
the end of the natural ; so that all is in vain, that is not accommodated to that state 
of the moral world which consists in, or depends upon, the acts and state of the wills 
of moral agents, which had a fixed futurition from eternity. Such a subjection 
to necessity as this, would truly argue an inferiority and servitude, that would 
be unworthy the Supreme Being ; and is much more agreeable to the notion 
which many of the heathen had of fate, as above the gods, than that moral ne- 
cessity of fitness and wisdom which has been spoken of; and is truly repugnant 
to the absolute sovereignty of God, and inconsistent with the supremacy of his 
Will ; and really subjects the Will of the Most High, to the Will of his crea- 
tures, and brings him into dependence upon them. 


Concerning that Objection against the Doctrine which has been maintained, that it 
makes God the Author of Sin. 

It is urged by Arminians, that the doctrine of the necessity of men's voli- 
tk ns, or their necessary connection with antecedent events and circumstances, 
makes the first cause, and supreme orderer of all things, the author of sin ; in 
that he has so constituted the state and course of things, that sinful volitions 
become necessary, in consequence of his disposal. Dr. Whitby, in his Discourse 
on the Freedom of the Will,* cites one of the ancients, as on his side, declaring 
that this opinion of the necessity of the Will " absolves sinners, as doing nothing 
of their own accord which was evil, and would cast all the blame of all the 
wickedness committed in the world, upon God, and upon his Providence, if that 
were admitted by the assertors of this fate ; whether he himself did necessitate 
them to do these things, or ordered matters so, that they should be constrained 
to do them by some other cause." And the doctor says, in another place,f " In 
the nature of the thing, and in the opinion of philosophers, -causa deficiens, in 
rebus necessariis, ad causam per se efflcientem reducenda est. In things neces- 
sary, the deficient cause must be reduced to the efficient. And in this case the 
reason is evident ; because the not doing what is required, or not avoiding what 
is forbidden, being a defect, must follow from the position of the necessary 
cause of that deficiency." 

* On the Five Points, p. 361 t Ibid, p. 486. 


Concerning this, I would observe the following things. 

I. If there be any difficulty in this matter, it is nothing peculiar to this 
scheme ; it is no difficulty or disadvantage, wherein it is distinguished from the 
scheme of Arminians ; and, therefore, not reasonably objected by them. 

Dr. Whitby supposes, that if sin necessarily follows from God's withholding as- 
sistance, or if that assistance be not given, which is absolutely necessary to the 
avoiding of evil ; then, in the nature of the thing, God must be as properly the 
author of that evil, as if he were the efficient cause of it. From whence, according 
to what he himself says of the devils and damned spirits, God must be the proper 
author of their perfect unrestrained wickedness : he must be the efficient cause of 
the great pride,of the devils, and of their perfect malignity against God, Christ, his 
saints, and all that is good, and of the insatiable cruelty of their disposition. For 
he allows, that God has so forsaken them, and does so withhold his assistance 
from them, that they are incapacitated for doing good, and determined only tc 
evil.* Our doctrine, in its consequence, makes God the author of men's sin in 
this world, no more, and in no other sense, than his doctrine, in its consequence, 
makes God the author of the hellish pride and malice of the devils. And doubt- 
less the latter is as odious an effect as the former. 

Again, if it will follow at all, that God is the author of sin, from what has 
been supposed of a sure and infallible connection between antecedents and con- 
sequents, it will follow because of this, viz., that for God to be the author or 
orderer of those things which, he knows beforehand, will infallibly be attended 
with such a consequence, is the same thing, in effect, as for him to be the author 
of that consequence. But, if this be so, this is a difficulty which equally attends 
the doctrine of Arminians themselves ; at least, of those of them who allow 
God's certain foreknowledge of all events. For on the supposition of such a 
foreknowledge, this is the case with respect to every sin that is committed : God 
knew, that if he ordered and brought to pass such and such events, such sins 
would infallibly follow. As for instance*, God certainly foreknew, long before 
Judas was born, that if he ordered things so, that there should be such a man 
born, at such a time, and at such a place, and that his life should be preserved, 
and that he should, in Divine Providence, be led into acquaintance with Jesus ; 
and that his heart should be so influenced by God's Spirit or Providence, as to 
be inclined to be a follower of Christ ; and that he should be one of those twelve, 
which should be chosen constantly to attend him as his family ; and that his 
health should be preserved, so that he should go up to Jerusalem, at the last 
passover in Christ's life ; and if it should be so ordered, that Judas should see 
Christ's kind treatment of the woman which anointed him at Bethany, and have 
that reproof from Christ, which he had at that time, and see and hear other 
things, which excited his enmity against his Master, and that if other circumstan- 
ces should be ordered, as they were ordered ; it would be what would most 
certainly and infallibly follow, that Judas would betray his Lord, and would 
soon after hang himself, and die impenitent, and be sent to hell, for his horrid 

Therefore, this supposed difficulty ought not to be brought as an objection 
against the scheme Which has been maintained, as disagreeing with the Arminian 
scheme, seeing it is no difficulty owing to such disagreement ; but a difficulty 
wherein the Arminians share with us. That must be unreasonably made an 
objection against our differing from them, which we should not escape or avoid 
at all by agreeing with them. 

And therefore I would observe, 

» On the Five Points, p. 302, 305. 


II. They who object, that this doctrine makes God the author of sin, ought 
distinctly to explain what they mean by that phrase, The author of sin. I know 
the phrase, as it is commonly used, signifies something very ill. If by the author 
of sin, be meant the sinner, the agent, or actor of sin, or the doer of a wicked 
thing ; so it would be a reproach and blasphemy, to suppose God to be the 
author of sin. In this sense, I utterly deny God to be the author of sin ; reject- 
ing such an imputation on the Most High, as what is infinitely to be abhorred ; 
and deny any such thing to be the consequence of what I have laid down. But 
if, by the author of sin, is meant the permitter, or not a hinderer of sin ; and, at 
the same time, a disposer of the state of events, in such a manner, for wise, holy, 
and most excellent ends and purposes, that sin, if it be permitted or not hindered, 
will most certainly and infallibly follow : I say, if this be all that is meant, by 
being the author of sin, I do not deny that God is the author of sin (though I 
dislike and reject the phrase, as that which by use and custom is apt to carry 
another sense) it is no reproach for the Most High to be thus the author of sin. 
This is not to be the actor of sin, but, on the contrary, of holiness. What God 
doth herein, is holy ; and a glorious exercise of the infinite excellency of his na- 
ture. And, I do not deny, that God's being thus the author of sin, follows from 
what I have laid down ; and, I assert, that it equally follows from the doctrine 
which is maintained by most of the Arminian divines. 

That it is most certainly so, that God is in such a manner the disposer and 
orderer of sin, is evident, if any credit is to be given to the Scripture ; as well as 
becausfe it is impossible, in the nature of things, to be otherwise. In such a man- 
ner God ordered the obstinacy of Pharaoh, in his refusing to obey God's com- 
mands, to let the people go. Exod. iv. 21, " I will harden his heart, that he 
shall not let the people go." Chap. vii. 2 — 5, " Aaron thy brother shall speak 
unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land. And I 
will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land 
of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you ; that I may lay mine hand 
upon Egypt, by great judgments," &c. Chap. ix. 12, "And the Lord hardened 
the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them, as the Lord had spoken 
unto Moses." Chap. x. 1, 2, " And the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pha- 
raoh ; for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I might 
show these signs before him, and that thou mayest tell it in the ears of thy son, 
and thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which 
I have done amongst them, that ye may know that I am the Lord." Chap: xiv. 
4, " And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them : and 
I will be honored upon Pharaoh, and upon all his Host." Verse 8, " And the 
Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh King of Egypt, and he pursued after the 
Children of Israel." And it is certain, that in such a manner, God, for wise 
and good ends, ordered that event, Joseph's being sold into Egypt, by his breth- 
ren. Gen. xlv. 5, " Now, therefore, be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, 
that ye sold me hither ; for God did send me before you to preserve life." 
Verse 7, 8, " God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, 
and to save your lives by a great deliverance : so now it was not you, that sent 
me hither, but God." Psal. cv. 17, ".He sent a man before them, even Joseph, 
who was sold for a servant." It is certain, that thus God ordered the sin and 
folly of Sihon King of the Amorites, in refusing to let the people of Israel pass 
by him peaceably. Deut. ii. 30, " But Sihon King of Heshbon would not let us 
pass by him ; for the Lord thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart ob- 
stinate, that he might deliver him into thine hand." It is certain, that God thus 
ordered the sin and folly of the Kings of Canaan, that they attempted not tc 


make peace with Israel, but with a stupid boldness and obstinacy, set themselves 
violently to oppose them and their God. Josh. xi. 20, " For it was of the Lord, 
to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he 
might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favor ; but that he 
might destroy them, as the Lord commanded Moses." It is evident, that thus 
God ordered the treacherous rebellion of Zedekiah against the King of Babylon. 
Jer. lii. 3, " For through the anger of the Lord it came to pass in Jerusalem, 
and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled 
against the King of Babylon." So 2 Kings xxiv. 20. And it is exceeding 
manifest, that God thus ordered the rapine and unrighteous ravages of Nebu- 
chadnezzar, in spoiling and ruining the nations round about. Jer. xxv. 9, 
" Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the Lord, and 
Nebuchadnezzar, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against 
all the nations round about ; and w r ill utterly destroy them, and make them an 
astonishment, and a hissing, and perpetual desolations." Chap, xliii. 10, 11, 
" I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant ; and 
I will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid, and he shall spread his 
royal pavilion over them. And when he cometh, he shall smite the land ot 
Egypt, and deliver such as are for death to death, and such as are for captivity 
to captivity, and such as are for the sword to the sword." Thus God represents 
himself as sending for Nebuchadnezzar, and taking of him and his armies, and 
bringing him against the nations, which were to be destroyed by him, to that 
very end, that he might utterly destroy them, and make them desolate ; ' and as 
appointing the work that he should do, so particularly, that the very persons 
were designated that he should kill with the sword, and those that should be kill- 
ed with famine and pestilence, and those that should be carried into captivity ; 
and that in doing all these things, he should act as his servant ; by which, less 
cannot be intended, than that he should serve his purposes and designs. And 
in Jer. xxvii. 4, 5, 6, God declares, how he would cause him thus to serve his 
designs, viz., by bringing this to pass in his sovereign disposal, as the great 
Possessor and Governor of the universe, that disposes all things just as pleases 
him. " Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel ; I have made the earth, 
the man and the beast, that are upon the ground, by my great power, and my 
stretched out arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me ; and 
now I have given all these lands into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, my servant, 
and the beasts of the field have I given also to serve him." And Nebuchad- 
nezzar is spoken of as doing these things, by having his arms strengthened by 
God, and having God's sword put into his hands, for this end.' Ezek. xxx. 24, 
25, 26. Yea, God speaks of his terribly ravaging and wasting the nations, and 
cruelly destroying all sorts, without distinction of sex or age, as the weapon in 
God's hand, and the instrument of his indignation, which God makes use of to 
fulfil his own purposes, and execute his own vengeance. Jer. li. 20, &c, " Thou 
art my battle-axe, and weapons of war : for with thee will I break in pieces the 
nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms, and with thee will I break in 
pieces the horse and his rider, and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot 
and his rider ; with thee also will I break in pieces man and woman, and with 
thee will I break in pieces old and young, and with thee will I break in pieces 
the young man and the maid," &c. It is represented, that the designs of Nebuchad- 
nezzar and those that destroyed Jerusalem, never could have been accomplished, 
had not God determined them, as well as they. Lam. iii. 37, " Who is he that 
saith, and it cometh to pass, and the Lord commandeth it not V And yet the 
king of Babylon's thus destroying the nations, and especially the Jews, is spo- 


ken of as his great wickedness, for which God finally destroyed him. Isa. xiv. 
4, 5, 6, 12, Hab. ii. 5 — 12, and Jer. chap. 1. and li. It is most manifest, that 
God, to serve his own designs, providentially ordered Shimei's cursing David. 
2 Sam. xvi. 10, 11, "The Lord hath said unto him, Curse David. — Let him 
curse, for the Lord hath bidden him." 

It is certain, that God thus, for excellent, holy, gracious and glorious ends, 
ordered the fact which they committed, who were concerned in Christ's death ; 
and that therein they did but fulfil God's designs. As, I trust, no Christian will 
deny it was the design of God that Christ should be crucified, and that for this 
end, he came into the world. It is very manifest by many Scriptures, that the 
whole affair of Christ's crucifixion, with its circumstances, and the treachery of 
Judas, that made way for it, was ordered in God's Providence, in pursuance of 
his purpose ; notwithstanding the violence that is used with those plain Scriptures, 
to obscure and pervert the sense of them. Acts ii. 23, " Him being delivered, 
by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God,* ye have taken, and with 
wicked hands, have crucified and slain." Luke xxii.21-2,f" But behold the hand 
of him that betrayeth me, is with me on the table ; and truly the Son of man 
goeth, as it was determined." Acts iv. 27, 28, " For of a truth, against thy 
holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with 
the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do what- 
soever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. Acts iii. 17, 18, 
" And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your 
rulers ; but these things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all his 
prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled." So that what these mur- 
derers of Christ did, is spoken of as what God brought to pass or ordered, and 
that by which he fulfilled his own word. 

In Rev. xvii. 17, the agreeing of the kings of the earth to give their king- 
dom to the beast, though it was a very wicked thing in them, is spoken of as a 
fulfilling of God's Will, and what God had put into their hearts to do. It is 
manifest that God sometimes permits sin to be committed, and at the same time 
orders things so, that if he permits the fact, it will come to pass, because, on 
some accounts, he sees it needful and of importance, that it should come to pass. 
Matth. xviii. 7, " It must needs be, that offences come ; but wo to that man by 
whom the offence cometh." With 1 Cor. xi. 19, " For there must also be 
heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest 
among you." 

Thus it is certain and demonstrable from the Holy Scriptures, as well as the 
nature of things; and the principles of Arminians, that God permits sin, and at 
the same time, so orders things, in his Providence, that it certainly and infallibly 
will come to pass, in consequence of his permission. 

I proceed to observe in the next place, 

III. That there is a great difference between God's being concerned thus, 
by his permission, in an event and act, which, in the inherent subject and agent 
of it, is sin (though the event will certainly follow on his permission), and his 
being concerned in it by producing it and exerting the act of sin ; or between 

* u Grotiu3, as well as Beza, observes, prognosis must here signify decree ; and Eisner has shown 
that it has that signification, in approved Greek, writers. And it is certain ekdotos signifies one given up 
into the hands of an enemy." Dodd. in hoc. 

+ " As this passage is not liable to the ambiguities, which some have apprehended in Acts ii. 23, and 
it. 28, (which yet seem on the whole to be parallel to it, in their most natural construction), I look upon 
it as an evident proof, that these things are, in the language of Scripture, said to be determined or de- 
creed (or exactly bounded and marked out by God as the word orizo most naturally signifies), which he 
Bees in fact will happen, in consequence of his volitions, without any necessitating agency ; as well as 
those events, of which he is properly the Author." Dodd. in TjOC. 


his being the Orderer of its certain existence, by not hindering it, under certain 
circumstances, and his being the proper Actor or Author of it, by a positive 
agency or efficiency. And this, notwithstanding what Dr. Whitby offers about 
a saying of philosophers, that causa deficiens, in rebus necessariis, ad causam pet 
se efficitntem reducenda est. As there is a vast difference between the sun's 
being the cause of the lightsomeness and warmth of the atmosphere, and 
brightness of gold and diamonds, by its presence and positive influence ; and its 
being the occasion of darkness and frost, in the night, by its motion, whereby 
it descends below the horizon. The motion of the sun is the occasion of the 
latter kind of events ; but it is not the proper cause, efficient or producer of 
them; though they are necessarily consequent on that motion binder such cir- 
cumstances ; no more is any action of the Divine Being the cause of the evil 
of men's Wills. If the sun were the proper cause of cold and darkness, it would 
be the fountain of these things, as it is the fountain of light and heat ; and then 
something might be argued from the nature of cold and darkness, to a likeness 
of nature in the sun ; and it might be justly inferred, that the sun itself is dark 
and cold, and that its beams are black and frosty. But from its being the cause 
no otherwise than by its departure, no such thing can be inferred, but the con- 
trary ; it may justly be argued, that the sun is a bright and hot body, if cold and 
darkness are found to be the consequences of its withdrawment : and the more 
constantly and necessarily these effects are connected with, and confined to its 
absence, the more strongly does it argue the sun to be the fountain of light and 
heat. So, inasmuch as sin is not the fruit of any positive agency or influence 
of the Most High, but, on the contrary, arises from the withholding of his action 
and energy, and, under certain circumstances, necessarily follows on the want 
of his influence ; this is no argument that he is sinful, or his operation evil, or 
has any thing of the nature of evil, but, on the contrary, that He and his agency 
are altogether good and holy, and that He is the fountain of all holiness. It 
would be strange arguing, indeed, because men never' commit sin, but only when 
God leaves them to themselves, and necessarily sin, when he does so, that there- 
fore their sin is not from themselves but from God ; and so, that God must be a 
sinful Being ; as strange as it would be to argue, because it is always dark 
when the sun is gone, and never dark when the sun is present, that therefore 
all darkness is from the sun, and that his disk and beams must needs be black. 

IV. It properly belongs to the Supreme and Absolute Governor of the 
universe, to order all important events within his dominion, by his wisdom ; but 
the events in the moral world are of the most important kind, such as the moral 
actions of intelligent creatures, and their consequences. 

These events will be ordered by something. They will either be dispose^ 
by wisdom, or they will be disposed by chance ; that is, they will be disposed 
by blind and undesigning causes, if that were possible, and could be called a 
disposal. Is it not better, that the good and evil which happens in God's 
world, should be ordered, regulated, bounded and determined by the good 
pleasure of an infinitely w T ise Being, who perfectly comprehends within his 
understanding and constant view, the universality of things, in all their extent 
and duration, and sees all the influence of every event, with respect to every 
individual thing and circumstance, throughout the grand system, and the whole 
of the eternal series of consequences ; than to leave these things to fall out by 
chance, and to be determined by those causes which have no understanding or 
aim ? Doubtless, in these important events, there is a better and a worse, as 
to the time, subject, place, manner and circumstances of their coming to pass, 
with regard to their influence on the state and course of things. And if there be, 


it is certainly best that they should be determined to that time, place, &c, which 
is best. And therefore it is in its own nature fit, that wisdom, and not chance, 
should order these things. So that it belongs to the Being who is the possessor 
of Infinite Wisdom, and is the Creator and Owner of the whole system of 
created existences, and has the care of all ; I say, it belongs to him to take care 
of this matter ; and he would not do what is proper for him, if he should neglect 
it. And it is so far from being unholy in him to undertake this affair, that it 
would rather have been unholy to neglect it, as it would have been a neglect- 
ing what fitly appertains to him ; and so it would have been a very unfit and 
unsuitable neglect. 

Therefore the sovereignty of God doubtless extends to this matter ; especial- 
ly considering, that if it should be supposed to be otherwise, and God should 
leave men's volitions, and all moral events, to the determination and disposition 
of blind and unmeaning causes, or they should be left to happen perfectly 
without a cause ; this would be no more consistent with liberty, in any notion 
of it, and particularly not in the Arminian notion of it, than if these events were 
subject to the disposal of Divine Providence, and the Will of man were deter- 
mined by circumstances which are ordered and disposed by Divine Wisdom ; as 
appears by what has been already observed. But it is evident, that such a 
providential disposing and determining men's moral actions, though it infers a 
moral necessity of those actions, yet it does not in the least infringe the real 
liberty of mankind; the only liberty that common sense teaches to be necessary 
to moral agency, which, as has been demonstrated, is not inconsistent with such 

On the whole, it is manifest, that God may be, in the manner which has 
been described, the Orderer and Disposer of that event, which, in the inherent 
subject and agent, is moral evil ; and yet His so doing may be no moral evil. 
He may will the disposal of such an event, and its coming to pass for good ends, 
and his Will not be an immoral or sinful Will, but a perfectly holy Will. And 
he may actually, in his Providence, so dispose and permit things, that the event 
may be certainly and infallibly connected with such disposal and permission, 
and his act therein not be an immoral or unholy, but a perfectly holy act. Sin 
may be an evil thing, and yet that there should be such a disposal and permis- 
sion, as that it should come to pass, may be a good thing. This is no contra- 
diction or inconsistence. Joseph's brethren selling him into Egypt, consider it 
only as it was acted by them, and with respect to their views and aims, which 
were evil, was a very bad thing ; but it was a good thing, as it was an event 
of God's ordering, and considered with respect to his views and aims, which 
were good. Gen. 1. 20, " As for you, ye thought evil against me ; but God 
meant it unto good." So the crucifixion of Christ, if we consider only those 
things which belong to the event as it proceeded from his murderers, and are 
comprehended within the compass of the affair considered as their act, their 
principles, dispositions, views and aims; so it was one of the most heinous 
things that ever was done, in many respects the most horrid of all acts : but 
consider it, as it was willed and ordered of God, in the extent of his designs and 
views, it was the most admirable and glorious of all events, and God's willing 
the event, was the most holy volition of God that ever was made known to men ; 
and God's act in ordering it was a divine act, which, above all others, manifests 
the moral excellency of the Divine Being. 

The consideration of these things may help us to a sufficient answer to the 
cavils of Arminians, concerning what has been supposed by many Calvinists, of 
a distinction between a secret and revealed will of God, and their diversity one 

Vol. II. 21 


from the other, supposing that the Calvinists herein ascribe inconsistent "Wills to 
the Most High ; which is without any foundation. God's secret and revealed 
Will, or in other words, his disposing and preceptive Will may be diverse, and 
exercised in dissimilar acts, the one in disapproving and opposing, the other in 
willing and determining, without any inconsistence. Because, although these 
dissimilar exercises of the Divine Will may, in some respects, relate to the same 
things, yet, in strictness, they have different and contrary objects, the one evil, 
and the other good. Thus, for instance, the crucifixion of Christ was a thing 
contrary to the revealed or preceptive Will of God, because, as it was viewed 
and done by his malignant murderers, it was a thing infinitely contrary to 
the holy nature of God, and so necessarily contrary to the holy inclination of 
his heart revealed in his law. Yet this does not at all hinder but that the cru- 
cifixion of Christ, considered with all those glorious consequences, which were 
within the view of the Divine Omniscience, might be indeed, and therefore 
might appear to God to be, a glorious event, and consequently be agreeable to 
his Will, though this Will may be secret, i. e., not revealed in God's law. And 
thus considered, the crucifixion of Christ was not evil, but good. If the secret 
exercises of God's Will were of a kind that is dissimilar, and contrary to his re- 
vealed Will, respecting the same, or like objects ; if the objects of both were 
good, or both evil ; then, indeed, to ascribe contrary kinds of volition or 
inclination to God, respecting these objects, would be to ascribe an inconsistent 
Will to God ; but to ascribe to him different and opposite exercises of heart, 
respecting different objects, and objects contrary one to another, is so far from 
supposing God's Will to be inconsistent with itself, that it cannot be supposed 
consistent with itself any other way. For any being to have a Will of choice 
respecting good, and at the same time a Will of rejection and refusal respecting 
evil, is to be very consistent ; but the contrary, viz., to have the same Will 
towards these contrary objects, and to choose and love both good and evil, at 
the same time, is to be very inconsistent. 

There is no inconsistence in supposing, that God may hate a thing as it is 
in itself, and considered simply as evil, and yet that it may be his Will it should 
come to pass, considering all consequences. 1 believe, there is no person of 
good understanding, who will venture to say, he is certain that it is impossible 
it should be best, taking in the whole compass and extent of existence, and all 
consequences in the endless series of events, that there should be such a thing as 
moral evil in the world.* And if so, it will certainly follow, that an infinitely 

* Here are worthy to be observed some passages of a late noted writer, of our nation, that nobody 
who is acquainted with him, will suspect to be very favorable to Calvinism. " It is difficult," says he, 
" to handle the necessity of evil in such a manner, as not to stumble such as are not above being alarmed 
at propositions which have an uncommon sound. But if philosophers will but reflect calmly on the mat- 
ter, they will find, that consistently with the »nlimited power of the Supreme Cause, it may be said, that 
in the best ordered system, evils must have place." Turnbull'a Principles of Moral Philosophy, p. 327, 
328. He is there speaking of moral evils, as may be seen. 

Again the same author, in his second vol., entitled Christian Philosophy, p. 35, has these words : " If the 
Author and Governor of all things be infinitely perfect, then whatever is, is right ; of all possible systems 
he hath chosen the best ; and consequently, there is no absolute evil in the universe. This being the case, 
all the seeming imperfections or evils in it are such only in a partial view ; and with respect to the whole 
system, they are goods." 

Ibid. p. 37. " WhenceJhen comes evil ? is the question that hath, in all ages, been reckoned the Got- 
dian knot in philosophy. And indeed, if we own the existence of evil in the world in an absolute sense, 
we diametrically contradict what hath been just now proved of God. For if there be any evil in the sys- 
tem that is not good in respect to the whole, then is the whole not good, but evil, or at best, very imper- 
fect ; and an author must be as his workmanship is : as is the effect, such is the cause. But the solution 
of this difficulty is at hand : that there is no evil in the universe. What ! Are there no pains, no im- 
perfections ? Is there no misery, no vice in the world ? Or are not these evils ? Evils indeed they are ; 
that is, those of one sort are hurtful, and those of the other sort are equally hurtful and abominable ; but 
tney are not evil or mischievous with respect to the whole." 

Ibid. p. 42. " But He is, at the same time, said to create evil, darkness, confusion, and yet to do no 


wise Being, who always chooses what is best, must choose that there should be 
such a thing. And, if so, then such a choice is not an evil, but a wise and holy 
choice. And if so, then that Providence which is agreeable to such a choice, 
is a wise and holy Providence. Men do will sin as sin, and so are the authors 
and actors of it. They love it as sin, and for evil ends and purposes. God does 
not will sin as sin, or for the sake of any thing evil ; though it be his pleasure 
so to order things, that, He permitting, sin will come to pass, for the sake of 
the great good that by his disposal shall be the consequence. His willing to 
order things so that evil should come to pass, for the sake of the contrary good, 
is no argument that He does not hate evil, as evil ; and if so, then it is no rea- 
son why he may not reasonably forbid evil, as evil, and punish it as such. 

The Arminians themselves must be obliged, whether they will or no, to allow 
a distinction of God's Will, amounting to just the same thing that Calvinists in- 
tend by their distinction of a secret and revealed Will. They must allow a 
distinction of those things whiph God thinks best should be, considering all cir- 
cumstances and consequences, and so are agreeable to his disposing Will, and 
those things which he loves, and are agreeable to his nature, in themselves con- 
sidered. Who is there that will dare to say, that the hellish pride, malice and 
cruelty of devils are agreeable to God, and what He likes and approves ? And 
yet, I trust, there is no Christian divine but what will allow, that it is agreeable 
to God's Will so to order and dispose things concerning them, so to leave them 
to themselves, and give them up to their own wickedness, that this perfect 
wickedness should be a necessary consequence. Besure Dr. Whitby's words 
do plainly suppose and allow it.* 

The following things may be laid down as maxims of plain truth, and indis- 
putable evidence. 

1. That God is a perfectly happy Being, in the most absolute and highest 
sense possible. 

2. That it will follow from hence, that God is free from every thing that is 
contrary to happiness, and so, that in strict propriety of speech, there is no such 
thing as any pain, grief, or trouble in God. 

3. When any intelligent being is really crossed and disappointed, and 
things are contrary to what he truly desires, he is the less pleased or has less plea- 
sure, his pleasure and happiness is diminished, and he suffers what is disagreea- 
ble to him, or is the subject of something that is of a nature contrary to joy and 
Happiness, even pain and grief.f 

From this last axiom, it follows, that if no distinction is to be admitted be- 
tween God's hatred of sin, and his Will with respect to the event and existence 
of sin, as the all-wise Determiner of all events, under the view of all consequen- 
ces through the whole compass and series of things ; I say, then it certainly fol- 
lows, that the coming to pass of every individual act of sin is truly, all things 
considered, contrary to his Will, and that his Will is really crossed in it ; and 

evil, but to be the Author of good only. He is called " the Fatner of lights, the Author of every perfect 
and good gift, with whom there is no variableness nor shadow of turning," who "tempteth no man, but 
giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not." And yet by the prophet Isaias, He is introduced saying 
of Himself, " I form light, and create darkness ; I make peace, and create evil : I, the Lord, do all these 
things." What is the meaning, the plain language of all this, but that the Lord delightcth in goodness, 
and, as the Scripture speaks, evil is his strange work ? He intends and pursues the universal good of his 
creation ; and the evil which happens, is not permitted for its own sake, or through any pleasure in evil, 
but because it is requisite to the greater good pursued." 

* Whitby on the Five Poi^s, Edit. 2, p. 300, 305, 309. x 

t Certainly it is not loss absurd and unreasonable, to talk of God's Will and desires being truly and 
properly crossed, without his suffering any uneasiness, or any thing grievous or disagreeable, than it is to 
talk of something that may be called a revealed Will, which may, in some respect, be different from a 
secret purpose ; which purpose may be fulfilled, when the other is opposed. 


this in proportion as He hates it. And as God's hatred of sin is infinite, by reason 
of the infinite contrariety of his holy nature to sin ; so his Will is infinitely 
crossed, in every act of sin that happens. Which is as much as to say, He en- 
dures that which is infinitely disagreeable to him, by means of every act of sin 
that He sees committed. And therefore, as appears by the preceding positions, 
He endures truly and really, infinite grief or pain from every sin. And so He 
must be infinitely crossed, and suffer infinite pain, every day, in millions of mil- 
lions of instances : He must continually be the subject of an immense number 
of real, and truly infinitely great crosses and vexations. Which would be to 
make him infinitely the most miserable of all beings. % 

If any objector should say ; all that these things amount to, is, that God 
may do evil that good may come ; which is justly esteemed immoral and sinful in 
men ; and therefore may be justly esteemed inconsistent with the moral per- 
fections of God ; I answer, that for God to dispose and permit evil, in the 
manner that has been spoken of, is not to do evil* that good may come ; for it 
is not to do evil at all. — In order to a thing's being morally evil, there must be 
one of these tilings belonging to it : either it must be a thing unfit and unsuit- 
able in its own nature ; or it must have a bad tendency ; or it must proceed 
from an evil disposition, and be done for an evil end. But neither of these 
things can be attributed to God's ordering and permitting such events, as the 
immoral acts of creatures, for good ends. (1.) It is not unfit in its own nature, 
that He should do so. For it is in its own nature fit, that infinite wisdom, and 
not blind chance, should dispose moral good and evil in the world. And it is 
fit, that the Being who has infinite wisdom, and is the Maker, Owner and Su- 
preme Governor of the world, should take care of that matter. And, therefore, 
there is no unfitness, or unsuitableness in his doing it. It may be unfit, and so 
immoral, for any other beings to go about to order this affair ; because they are 
not possessed of a wisdom, that in any manner fits them for it ; and, in othei 
respects, they are not fit to be trusted with this affair ; nor does if belong to them, 
they not being the owners and lords of the universe. 

We need not be afraid to affirm, that if a wise and good man knew with 
absolute certainty, it would be best, all things considered, that there should be 
such a thing as moral evil in the world, it would not be contrary to his wisdom 
and goodness, for him to choose that it should be so. It is no evil desire, to 
desire good, and to desire that which, all things considered, is best. And it is 
no unwise choice, to choose that that should be, which it is best should be ; and 
to choose the existence of that thing concerning which this is known, viz., that 
it is best it should be, and so is known in the whole to be most worthy to be 
chosen. On the contrary, it would be a plain defect in wisdom and goodness, 
for him not to choose it. And the reason why he might not order it, it he were 
able, would not be because he might not desire it, but only the ordering of that 
matter does not belong to him. But it is no harm for Him who is, by right 
and in the greatest propriety, the Supreme Orderer of all things, to order every 
thing in such a manner, as it would be a point of wisdom in Him to choose that 
they should be ordered. If it would be a plain defect of wisdom and good- 
ness in a Being, not to choose that that should be, which He certainly knows it 
would, all things considered, be best should be (as was but now observed), then 
it must be impossible for a Being who has no defect of wisdom and go'odness, to 
do otherwise than choose it should be ; and that, for this very reason, because 
He is perfectly wise and good. And if it be agreeable to perfect wisdom and 
goodness for him to choose that it should be, and the ordering of all things 
supremely and perfectly belongs to him, it must be agreeable to infinite wisdom 


and goodness, to order that it should be. If the choice is good, the ordering and 
disposing things according to that choice must also be good. It can be no 
harm in one to whom it belongs to do his Will in the armies of heaven, and 
amongst the inhabitants of the earth, to execute a good volition. If his Will be 
good, and the object of his Will be, all things considered, good and best, then 
the choosing or willing it, is not willing evil that good may come. And if so, then 
his ordering, according to that Will, is not doing evil, that good may come. 

2. It is not of a bad tendency, for the Supreme Being thus to order and 
permit that moral evil to be, which it is best should come to pass. For that it 
is of good tendency, is the very thing supposed in the point now in question. 
Christ's crucifixion, though a most horrid fact in them that perpetrated it, was of 
most glorious tendency as permitted and ordered of God. 

3. Nor is there any need of supposing it proceeds from any evil disposition 
or aim ; for by the supposition, what is aimed at is good, and good is the actual 
issue, in the final result of things. 


Concerning Sin's first Entrance into the World. 

The things, which have already been offered, may serve to obviate or clear 
many of the objections which might be raised concerning sin's first coming into 
the world ; as though it would follow from the doctrine maintained, that God 
must be the author of the first sin, through his so disposing things, that it should 
necessarily follow from his permission, that the sinful act should be committed, 
&c. I need not, therefore, stand to repeat what has been said already, about 
such a necessity's not proving God to be the author of sin, in any ill sense, or 
in ^iny such sense as to infringe any liberty of man, concerned in his moral 
agency, or capacity of blame, guilt and punishment. 

But, if it should nevertheless be said, supposing the case so, that God, when 
ne had made man, might so order his circumstances, that from these circum- 
stances, together with his withholding further assistance and divine influence, 
his sin would infallibly follow, why might not God as well have first made man 
with a fixed prevailing principle of sin in his heart ? I answer, 

I. It was meet, if sin did come into existence, and appear in the world, it 
should arise from the imperfection which properly belongs to a creature, as such, 
and should appear so to do, that it might appear not to be from God as the ef- 
ficient or fountain. But this could not have been, if man had been made at 
first with sin in his heart ; nor unless the abiding principle and habit of sin 
were first introduced by an evil act of the creature. If sin had not arisen from 
the imperfection of the creature, it would not have been so visible, that it did 
not arise from God, as the positive cause, and real source of it. — But it would 
require room that cannot here be allowed, fully to consider all the difficulties which 
have been started, concerning the first entrance of sin into the world. And 

II. I would observe, that objections against the doctrine that has been laid 
down, in opposition to the Arminian notion of liberty, from these difficulties, 
are altogether impertinent ; because no additional difficulty is incurred, by ad- 
hering to a scheme in this manner differing from theirs, and none would be 
removed or avoided, by agreeing with, and maintaining theirs. Nothing that 


the Arminians say, about the contingency or self-determining power of r.ian's 
will, can serve to explain, with less difficulty, how the first sinful volition oi 
mankind could take place, and man be justly charged with the blame of it. To 
say, the Will was self-determined, or determined by free choice, in that sinful 
volition ; which is to say, that the first sinful volition was determined by a 
foregoing sinful volition ; is no solution of the difficulty. It is an odd way of 
solving difficulties, to advance greater, in order to it. To say, two and two 
make nine ; or, that a child begat his father, solves no difficulty : no more does 
it, to say, the first sinful act of choice was before the first sinful act of choice, and 
chose and determined it, and brought it to pass. Nor is it any better solution, to say, 
the first sinful volition chose, determined and produced itself; which is to say, it 
was before it was. Nor will it go any further towards helping us over the difficulty 
to say, the first sinful volition arose accidentally, without any cause at all ; any 
more than it will solve that difficult question, How the world could be made out of 
nothing ? to say, it came into being out of nothing, without any cause ; as has 
been already observed. And if we should allow that that could be, that the first 
evil volition should arise by perfect accident, without any cause ; it would relieve 
no difficulty, about God's laying the blame of it to man. For how was man to blame 
for perfect accident, which had no cause, and which therefore, he (to be sure) 
was not the cause of, anymore than if it came by some external cause ? — Such so- 
lutions are no better, than if some person, going about to solve some of the 
strange mathematical paradoxes, about infinitely great and small quantities ; 
as, that some infinitely great quantities are infinitely greater than some other 
infinitely great quantities ; and also that some infinitely small quantities, are 
infinitely less than others, which yet are infinitely little ; in order to a solution, 
should say, that mankind have been under a mistake, in supposing a greater 
quantity to exceed a smaller ; and that a hundred, multiplied by ten, makes but 
a single unit. 


Of a supposed Inconsistence of these Principles with God's moral Character. 

The things which have been already observed, may be sufficient to answer 
most of the objections, and silence the great exclamations of Jirminians against 
Ihe Calvinists, from the supposed inconsistence of Calvinistic principles with 
the moral perfections of God, as exercised in his government of mankind. The 
consistence of such a doctrine of necessity as has been maintained, with the 
fitness and reasonableness of God's commands, promises and threa' enings, re- 
wards and punishments, has been particularly considered ; the cavils of our 
opponents, as though our doctrine of necessity made God the author of sin. 
have been answered ; and also their objection against these principles, as in- 
consistent with God's sincerity, in his counsels, invitations and persuasions, has 
been already obviated, in what has been observed respecting the consistence of 
what Calvinists suppose, concerning the secret and revealed Will of God : by 
that it appears, there is no repugnance in supposing it may be the secret Will 
of God, that his ordination and permission of events should be such, that it 
shall be a certain consequence, that a thing never will come to pass ; which 
yet it is man's duty to do, and so God's preceptive Will that he should do ; 
and 'his is the same thing as to say, God may sincerely command and lequire 


him to do it. And if he may be sincere in commanding him, he may, for the 
same reason, be sincere in counselling, inviting and using persuasions with him 
to do it. Counsels and invitations are manifestations of God's preceptive Will, 
or of what God loves, and what is in itself, and as man's act, agreeable to his 
heart ; and not of his disposing Will, and what he chooses as a part of his own 
infinite scheme of things. It has been particularly shown, Part III. Sect. IV. 
that such a necessity as has been maintained, is not inconsistent with the pro- 
priety and fitness of' divine commands ; and for the same reason, not inconsis- 
tent with the sincerity of invitations and counsels, in the Corollary at the end 
of the Section. Yea, it hath been shown, Part III. Sect. VII. Corol. 1, that 
this objection of Arminians, concerning the sincerity and use of divine exhor- 
tations, invitations and counsels, is demonstrably against themselves. 

Notwithstanding, I would further observe, that the difficulty of reconciling 
the sincerity of counsels, invitations and persuasions with such an antecedent 
known fixedness of all events, as has been supposed, is not peculiar to this 
scheme, as distinguished from that of the generality of Arminians, which ac- 
knowledges the absolute foreknowledge of God ; and therefore, it would be 
unreasonably brought as an objection against my differing from them. The 
main seeming difficulty in the case is this ; that God, in counselling, inviting 
md persuading, makes a show of aiming at, seeking and using endeavors for 
the thing exhorted and persuaded to ; whereas, it is impossible for any intelli- 
gent being truly to seek, or use endeavors for a thing, which he at the same 
time knows, most perfectly, will not come to pass ; and that it is absurd to sup- 
pose, he makes the obtaining of a thing his end, in his calls and counsels, which 
he, at the same time, infallibly knows will not be obtained by these means. 
Now, if God knows this, in the utmost certainty and perfection, the way by 
which he comes by this knowledge makes no difference. If he knows it is by 
the necessity which he sees in things, or by some other means ; it alters not 
the case. But it is in effect allowed by Arminians themselves, that God's in- 
viting and persuading men to do things, which he at the same time, certainly 
knows will not be done, is no evidence of insincerity : because they allow, that 
God has a certain foreknowledge of all men's sinful actions and omissions. 
And as this is thus implicitly allowed by most Arminians, so all that pretend 
to own the Scriptures to be the word of God, must be constrained to allow it- 
God commanded and counselled Pharaoh to let his people go, and used argu- 
ments and persuasions to induce him to it ; he laid before him arguments taken 
from his infinite greatness and almighty power, (Exod. vii. 16,) and forewarn- 
ed him of the fatal consequences of his refusal, from time to time. (Chap. viii. 
1, 2, 20, 21, Chap. ix. 1—5, 13—17, and x. 3, 6.) He commanded Moses, 
and the elders of Israel, to go and beseech Pharaoh to let the people go ; and 
at the same time told them, he knew surely that he would not comply with 
it. Exod. iii. 18, 19, " And thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, 
unto the king of Egypt, and you shall say unto him ; the Lord God of the He- 
brews hath met with us ; and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' jour- 
ney into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice unto the Lord our God ; and, I 
am sure, that the king of Egypt will not let you go.'' So our blessed Saviour, 
the evening wherein he was betrayed, knew that Peter would shamefully deny 
him, before the morning ; for he declares it to him with asseverations, to show 
the certainty of it ; and tells the disciples, that all of them should be offended 
because of him that night; Matth. xxvi. 31 — 35, Luke xxii. 31 — 34, John 
xiii. 38, John xvi. 32. And yet it was their duty to avoid these things ; they 
were very sinful things, which God had forbidden, and which it was their duty 


to watch and pray against ; and they were obliged to do so from the counsels 
and persuasions Christ used with them, at that very time, so to do j Matt, xxvl 
41, " Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation." So that what- 
ever difliculty there can be in this matter, it can be no objection against any 
principles which have been maintained in opposition to the principles of Armi 
nians ; nor does it any more concern me to remove the difficulty, than it does 
them, or indeed all, that call themselves Christians, and acknowledge the divine 
authority of the Scriptures.— Nevertheless, this matter may possibly (God allow 
ing) be more particularly and largely considered, in some future discourse, on 
the doctrine of predestination. 

But I would here observe, that however the defenders of that notion of lib- 
erty of Will, which I have opposed, exclaim against the doctrine of Calvinists, 
as tending to bring men into doubts concerning the moral perfections of God ; 
it is their scheme, and not the scheme of Calvinists, that indeed is justly chargea- 
ble with this. For it is one of the most fundamental points of their scheme of 
things, that a freedom of Will, consisting in self-determination, without all 
necessity, is essential to moral agency. This is the same thing as to say, that 
such a determination of the will, without all necessity, must be in all intelligent 
beings, in those things, wherein they are moral agents, or in their moral acts ; 
and from this it will follow, that God's Will is not necessarily determined, in 
any thing he does, as a moral agent, or in any of his acts that are t)f a moral 
nature. So that in all things, wherein he acts holily, justly and truly, he does 
not act necessarily ; or his Will is not necessarily determined, to act holily and 
justly ; because, if it were necessarily determined, he would not be a moral 
agent in thus acting. His Will would be attended with necessity, which, they 
say, is inconsistent with moral agency. " He can act no otherwise : he is at 
no liberty in the affair ; he is determined by unavoidable, invincible necessity ; 
therefore such agency is no moral agency, yea, no agency at all, properly 
speaking. A necessary agent is no agent ; he being passive, and subject to 
necessity, what he does is no act of his, but an effect of a necessity prior to any 
act of his." 

This is agreeable to their manner of arguing. Now then what is become of 
all our proof of the moral perfections of God 1 How can we prove, that God 
certainly will, in any one instance, do that which is just and holy ; seeing his 
Will is determined in the matter by no necessity 1 W r e have no other way of 
proving that any thing certainly will be, but only by the necessity of the event. 
Where we can see no necessity but that the thing may be, or may not be, there we 
are unavoidably left at a loss. We have no other way properly and truly to 
demonstrate the moral perfections of God, but the way that Mr. Chubb proves 
them in p. 252, 261, 262, 263, of his Tracts, viz., that God must necessarily per- 
fectly know, what is most worthy and valuable in itself, which, in the nature of 
things, is best and fittest to be done. And as this is most eligible in itself, He, 
being omniscient, must see it to be so : and being both omniscient and self-suffi- 
cient, cannot have any temptation to reject it, and so must necessarily will that 
which is best. And thus, by this necessity of the determination of God's Will 
to what is good and best, we demonstrably establish God's moral character. 

Corol. From things which have been observed, it appears that most of 
the arguments from. Scripture which Arminians make use of to support their 
scheme, are no other than begging the question. For in these arguments, they 
determine, in the first place, that w'thout such a freedom of Will as they hold, 
men cannot be proper moral agents, nor the subjects of command, counsel, per- 
suasion, invitation, promises, threatening^, expostulations, rewards and punish- 


ments : and that without such freedom it is to no purpose for men to take any 
care, or use any diligence, endeavors or means, in order to their avoiding sin, 
or becoming holy, escaping punishment or obtaining happiness ; and having 
supposed these things, which are grand things in question in the debate, then 
they heap up Scriptures, containing commands, counsels, calls, warnings, per- 
suasions, expostulations, promises and threatenings ; (as doubtless they may 
find enough such ; the Bible is confessedly full of them, from the beginning to 
the end ;) and then they glory, how full the Scripture is on their side, how many 
more texts there are that evidently favor their scheme, than such as seem to 
favor the contrary. But let them first make manifest the things in question, 
which they suppose and take for granted, and show them to be consistent with 
themselves, and produce clear evidence of their truth, and they have gained 
their point, as all will confess, without bringing one Scripture. For none de- 
nies, that there are commands, counsels, promises, threatenings, &c, in the Bible. 
But* unless they do these things, their multiplying such texts of Scripture is in- 
significant and vain. 

It may further be observed, that such Scriptures as they bring are really 
against them, and not for them. As it has been demonstrated, that it is their 
scheme, and not ours, that is inconsistent with the use of motives and persua- 
sives, or any moral means whatsoever, to induce men to the practice of virtue, 
or abstaining from wickedness : their principles, and not ours, are repugnant to 
moral agency, and inconsistent with moral government, with law or precept, 
with the nature of virtue or vice, reward or punishment, and with every thing 
whatsoever of a moral nature, either on the part of the moral governor, or in 
the state, actions or conduct of the subject. 

Of a supposed Tendency of these principles to Atheism and Licentiousness. 

If any object against what has been maintained, that it tends to Atheism, I 
know not on what grounds such an objection can be raised, unless it be that 
some Atheists have held a- doctrine of necessity which they suppose to be like 
this. But if it be so, I am persuaded the Arminians would not look upon it 
just, that their notion of freedom and contingence should be charged with a 
tendency to 'all the errors that ever any embraced, who have held such opinions. 
The Stoic philosophers, whom the Calvinists are charged with agreeing with, 
were no Atheists, but the greatest Theists and nearest akin to Christians in 
their opinions concerning the unity and the perfections of the Godhead, of all the 
heathen philosophers. And Epicurus, that chief Father of Atheism, maintained 
no such doctrine of necessity, but was the greatest maintainer of contingence. 

The doctrine of necessity, which supposes a necessary connection of all 
events, on some antecedent ground and reason of their existence, is the only 
medium we have to prove the being of God. And the contrary doctrine of con- 
tingence, even as maintained by Arminians, (which certainly implies or infers, 
that events may come into existence, or begin to be, without dependence on 
any thing foregoing, as their cause, ground or reason,) takes away all proof of 
the being of God ; which proof is summarily expressed by the apostle, in Rora. 
i. 20. And this is a tendency to Atheism with a witness. So that, indeed, it 
is the doctrine of Arminians, and not of the Calvinists, that is justly charged 

Vol. II. 22 


with a tendency to Atheism ; it being built on a foundation that is the uttei 
subversion of every demonstrative argument for the proof of a Deity, as has 
been shown, Part II. Sec. 3. 

And whereas it has often been said, that the Calvinistic doctrine of necessi- 
ty saps the foundations of all religion and virtue, and tends to the greatest licen- 
tiousness of practice : this objection is built on the pretence, that our doctrine 
renders vain all means and endeavors, in order to be virtuous and religious. 
Which pretence has been already particularly considered in the 5th Section of 
this Part ; where it has been demonstrated, that this doctrine has no such ten- 
dency ; but that such a tendency is truly to be charged on the contrary doc- 
trine ; inasmuch as the notion of contingence, which their doctrine implies, in 
its certain consequences, overthrows all connection, in every degree, between 
endeavor and event, means and end. 

And besides, if many other things which have been observed to belong to 
the Arminian doctrine, or to be plain consequences of it, be considered, there 
will appear just reason to suppose that it is that which must rather tend to 
licentiousness. Their doctrine excuses all evil inclinations, which men find to 
oe natural ; because in such inclinations, they are not self-determined, as such 
inclinations are not owing to any choice or determination of their own Wills. 
Which leads men wholly to justify themselves in all their wicked actions, so 
far as natural inclination has a hand in determining their Wills to the com- 
mission of them. Yea, these notions, which suppose moral necessity and ina- 
bility to be inconsistent with blame or moral obligation, will directly lead men 
to justify the vilest acts and practices, from the strength of their wicked incli- 
nations of all sorts ; strong inclinations inducing a moral necessity ; yea to 
excuse every degree of evil inclination, so far as this has evidently prevailed, 
and been the thing which has determined their Wills ; because, so far as ante- 
cedent inclination determined the Will, so far the Will was without liberty of 
indifference and self-determination. Which, at last, will come to this, that 
men will justify themselves in #11 the wickedness they commit. It has been 
observed already, that this scheme of things does exceedingly diminish the guilt 
of sin, and the difference between the greatest and smallest offences ;* and if it 
be pursued in its consequences, it leaves room for no such thing, as either vir- 
tue or vice, blame or praise in the world.f And then again how naturally does 
this notion of the sovereign, self-determining power of the Will, in all things, vir- 
tuous or vicious, and whatsoever deserves either reward or punishment, tend to 
encourage men to put off the work of religion and virtue, and turning from sin 
to God ; it being that which they have a sovereign power to determine them- 
selves to, just when they please ; or if not, they are wholly excusable in going 
on in sin, because of their inability to do any other. 

If it should be said, that the tendency of this doctrine of necessity to licen- 
tiousness, appears by the improvement many at this day actually make of it, to 
justify themselves in their dissolute courses ; I will not deny that some men do 
unreasonably abuse this doctrine, as they do many other things which are true 
and excellent in their own nature ; but I deny that this proves the doctrine it- 
self has any tendency to licentiousness. I think the tendency of doctrines, by 
what now apppears in the world, and in our nation in particular, may much 
more justly be argued from the general effect which has been seen to attend 
the prevailing of the principles of Arminians and the contrary principles ; as 

* !&!! "J' Se ,r l - 6 ; + Part IIL Sect - 6 - Ibid - Sect 7 - Part 1V - Sect. 1. Part III. Sect. 3. Cirol. 
. after the first Head. 


both have had their turn of general prevalence in our nation. If it be indeed, 
as is pretended, that Calvinistic doctrines undermine the very foundation of all 
religion and morality, and enervate and disannul all rational motives to holy and 
virtuous practice ; and that the contrary doctrines give the inducements to vir- 
tue and goodness their proper force, and exhibit religion in a rational light, 
tending to recommend it to the reason of mankind, and enforce it in a manner 
that is agreeable to their natural notions of things : I say, if it be thus, it is remark- 
able that virtue and religious practice should prevail most, when the former doc- 
trines, so inconsistent with it, prevailed almost universally ; and that ever since 
the latter doctrines, so happily agreeing with it, and of so proper and excellent 
a tendency to promote it, have been gradually prevailing, vice, profaneness 
luxury and wickedness of all sorts, and contempt of all religion, and of every 
kind of seriousness and strictness of conversation, should proportionably pre- 
vail ; and that these things should thus accompany one another, and rise and 
prevail one with another, now for a whole age together. It is remarkable that 
this happy remedy (discovered by the free inquiries and superior sense and wis- 
dom of this age) against the pernicious effects of Calvinism, so inconsistent 
with religion, and tending so much to banish all virtue from the earth, should, 
on so long a trial, be attended with no good effect, but that the consequence 
should be the reverse of amendment ; that in proportion as the remedy takes 
place, and is thoroughly applied, so the disease should prevail, and the very 
same dismal effect take place, to the highest degree, which Calvinistic doc- 
trines are supposed to have so great a tendency to, even the banishing of reli- 
gion and virtue, and the prevailing of unbounded licentiousness of manners. If 
these things are truly so, they are very remarkable, and matter of very curious 


Concerning that Objection against the reasoning, by which the Calvinistic doctrine is 
supported, that it is metaphysical and abstruse. 

It has often been objected against the defenders of Calvinistic principles, 
that in their reasonings they run into nice, scholastic distinctions, and abstruse, 
metaphysical subtilties, and set these in opposition to common sense. And it 
is possible, that after the former manner it may be alleged against the reasoning 
by which I have endeavored to confute the Arminian scheme of liberty and 
moral agency, that it is very abstracted and metaphysical. Concerning this I 
would observe the following things. 

I. If that be made an objection against the foregoing reasoning, that it is 
metaphysical, or may properly be reduced to the science of metaphysics, it is a 
very impertinent objection ; whether it be so or no, is not worthy of any dis- 
pute or controversy. If the reasoning be good, it is as frivolous to inquire 
what science it is properly reduced to, as what language it is delivered in ; and 
for a man to go about to confute the arguments of his opponent, by telling him 
his arguments are metaphysical, would be as weak as to tell him his arguments 
could not be substantial, because they were written in French or Latin. The 
question is not, whether what is said be metaphysics, logic, or mathematics, 
Latin, French, English or Mohawk 1 But whether the reasoning be good, and 
the arguments truly conclusive ? The foregoing arguments are no more met- 


aphysical, than those which we use against the Papists, to disprove then; doc- 
trine of transubstantiation ; alleging it is inconsistent with the notion of corpo- 
real identity that it should be in ten thousand places at the same time. It is by 
metaphysical arguments only we are able to prove that the rational soul is not 
corporeal ; that lead or sand cannot think ; that thoughts are not square or 
round, or do not weigh a pound. The arguments by which we prove the being 
of God, if handled closely and distinctly, so as to show their clear and demon- 
strative evidence, must be metaphysically treated. It is by metaphysics only, 
that we can demonstrate, that God is not limited to a place, or is not mutable ; 
that he is not ignorant or forgetful; that it is impossible for him to lie, or be 
unjust, and that there is one God only, and not hundreds or thousands. And. 
indeed, we have no strict demonstration of any thing, excepting mathematical 
truths, but by metaphysics. We can have no proof that is properly demon 
strative, of any one proposition, relating to the being and nature of God, his 
creation of the world, the dependence of all things on him, the nature of bodies 
or spirits, the nature of our own souls, or any of the great truths of morality 
and natural religion, but what is metaphysical. I am willing my arguments 
should be brought to the test of the strictest and justest reason, and that a clear, 
distinct and determinate meaning of the terms I use, should be insisted on ; but. 
?et not the whole be rejected, as if all were confuted, by fixing on it the epithet, 

II. If the reasoning which has been made use of, be in some sense meta- 
physical, it will not follow that therefore it must needs be abstruse, unintelligi- 
ble, and akin to the jargon of the schools. I humbly conceive the foregoing 
reasoning, at least as to those things which are most material belonging to it, 
depends on no abstruse definitions or distinctions, or terms without a meaning, 
or of very ambiguous and undetermined signification, or any points of such ab- 
straction and subtilty, as tends to involve the attentive understanding in clouds 
and darkness. There is no high degree of refinement and abstruse speculation, 
in determining that a thing is not before it is, and so cannot be the cause of 
itself; or that the first act of free* choice, has not another act of free choice go- 
ing before that, to excite or direct it, or in determining, that no choice is made, 
whjle the mind remains in a state of absolute indifference ; that preference and 
equilibrium never coexist ; and that therefore no choice is made in a state of 
liberty, consisting in indifference ; and that so far as the Will is determined by 
motives, exhibited and operating previous to the act of the Will, so far it is not 
determined *by the act of the Will itself; that nothing can begin to be, which 
before was not, without a cause, or some antecedent ground or reason, why it 
then begins to be ; that effects depend on their causes, and are connected with 
them ; that virtue is not the worse, nor sin the better for the strength of incli- 
nation with which it is practised, and the difficulty which thence arises of doing 
otherwise ; that when it is already infallibly known, that the thing will be, it 
is not a thing contingent whether it will ever be or no ; or that it can be truly said, 
notwithstanding, that it is not necessary it should be, but it either may be, or 
may not be. And the like might be observed of many other things which be- 
long to the foregoing reasoning. 

If any shall still stand to it, that the foregoing reasoning is nothing but 
metaphysical sophistry; and that it must be so, that the seeming force of the 
arguments all depends on some fallacy and wile that is hid in the obscurity 
which always attends a great degree of metaphysical abstraction and refinement ; 
and shall be ready to say, " Here is indeed something that tends to confound the 
mind, but not to satisfy it ; for, who can ever be truly satisfied in it, that men 


are fitly blamed or commended, punished or rewarded for those volitions which 
are not from themselves, and of whose existence they are not the causes ? Men 
may refine as much as they please, and advance their abstract notions, and make 
out a thousand seeming contradictions, to puzzle our understandings ; yet there 
can be no satisfaction in such doctrine as this ; the natural sense of the mind of 
man will always resist it."* I humbly conceive, that such an objector, if he has 
capacity and humility and calmness of spirit, and sufficient impartiality, 
thoroughly to examine himself, will find that he knows not really what he would 
be at ; and that indeed, his difficulty is nothing but a mere prejudice, from an 
inadvertent customary use of words, in a meaning that is not clearly under- 
stood, nor carefully reflected upon. Let the objector reflect again, if he has 
candor and patience enough, and does not scorn to be at the trouble of close 
attention in the affair. He would have a man's volition be from himself. Let 
it be from himself, most primarily and originally of any way conceivable; that 
is, from his own choice : how will that help the matter, as to his being justly 
blamed or praised, unless that choice itself be blame or praiseworthy ? And how 
is the choice itself (an ill choice, for instance) blameworthy, according to these 
principles, unless that be from himself too, in the same manner ; that is, from his 
own choice ? But the original and first determining choice in the affair is not 
from his choice ; his choice is not the cause of it. And if it be from himself 
some other way, and not from his choice, surely that will not help the matter ; 
if it be not from himself of choice, then it is not from himself voluntarily ; and 
if so, he is surely no more to blame, than if it were not from himself at all. It 
is a vanity, to pretend it is a sufficient answer to this, to say, that it is nothing 
but metaphysical refinement and subtilty, and so attended with obscurity and 

S uncertainty. 
If it be the natural sense of our minds, that what is blameworthy in a man 
must be from himself, then it doubtless is also, that it must be from something 

* A certain noted author of the present age says, the arguments for necessity are nothing but quibbling, 
or logomachy, using words without a meaning, or begging the questwn. I do not know what kind of necessity 
any authors, he may have reference to, are advocates for; or wnether they have managed their arguments 
well, or ill. As to the arguments I have made use of, if they are quibbles they may be shown to be so : 
juch knots are capable of being untied, and the trick and cheat may be detected and plainly laid open. 
If this be fairly done, with respect to the grounds and reasons I have relied upon, I shall have just occai 
sion, for the future, to be silent, if not to be ashamed of my argumentations. I am willing my proofs 
should be thoroughly examined ; and if there be nothing but begging the question, or mere logomachy, or 
dispute of words, let it be made manifest, and shown how the seeming strength of the argument depends 
on my using words without a meaning, or arises from the ambiguity of terms, or my making use of words 
in an indeterminate and unsteady manner ; and that the weight of my reasons rests mainly on such a 
foundation ; and then, I shall either be ready to retract what I have urged, and thank the man that has 
done the kind part, or shall be justly exposed for my obstinacy. 

The same author is abundant in appealing, in this affair, from what he calls logomachy and sophistry, to 
experience. A person can experience only what passes in his own mind. But yet, as we may well suppose, 
that all men have the same human faculties ; so a man may well argue, from his own experience to that 
of others, in things that show the nature of those faculties, and the manner of their operation. But then 
one has as good right to allege his experience, as another. As to my own experience, J find, that in 
innumerable things I can do as I will; that the motions of my body, in many respects, instantaneously 
follow the acts of my Will concerning those motions ; and that my Will has some command of my 
thoughts ; and that the acts of my Will are my own, i. e., that they are acts of my Will, the volitions of 
my own mind ; or, in other words, that what I will, I will. Which, £ presume, is the sum of what others 
experience in this affair. But as to finding by experience, that my Will is originally determined by 
itself; or that, my Will first choosing what volition there shall be, the chosen volition accordingly follows ; 
and that this is the first rise of the determination of my Will in any affair ; or that any volition rises in 
my mind contingently ; I declare, I know nothing in myself, by experience, of this nature ; and nothing 
that ever I experienced, carries the least appearance or shadow of any such thing, or gives me any more 
reason to suppose or suspect any such thing, than to suppose that my volitions existed twenty years before 
they existed. It is true, I find myself possessed of my volitions, before I can see the effectual power of 
any cause to produce them (for the power and efficacy of the causfe is not seen but by the effect), and this, 
for aught I know, may make some imagine, that volition has no cause, or that it produces itself. But 1 
have no more reason from hence to determine any such thing, than I have to determine that I gave myself 
my own being, or that I came into being accidentally without a cause, because I first found myself pos- 
sessed of being, before I had knowledge of a cause of my being. 


bad in himself, a bad choice, or bad disposition. But then our natural sense is, 
that this bad choice or disposition is evil in itself, and the man blameworthy for 
it, on its own account, without taking into our notion of its blameworthiness, 
another bad choice, or disposition going before this, from whence this arises ; 
for that is a ridiculous absurdity, running us into an immediate contradiction, 
which our natural sense of blameworthiness has nothing to do with, and never 
comes into the mind, nor is supposed in the judgment we naturally make of the 
affair. As was demonstrated before, natural sense does not place the moral evil 
of volitions and dispositions in the cause of them, but the nature of them. An 
evil thing's being from a man, or from something antecedent in him, is not 
essential to the original notion we have of blameworthiness ; but it is its being 
the choice of the heart ; as appears by this, that if a thing be from us, and nol 
from our choice, it has not the nature of blameworthiness or ill desert, accord 
ing to our natural sense. When a thing is from a man, in that sense, that it i: 
from his Will or choice, he is to blame for it, because his Will is in it : so far % 
as the Will is in it, blame is in it, and no further. Neither do we go any 
further in our notion of blame, to inquire whether the bad Will be from a baa 
Will : there is no consideration of the original of that bad Will ; because, ac- 
cording to our natural apprehension, blame originally consists in it. Therefore 
a thing's being from a man, is a secondary consideration, in the notion of blame 
or ill desert. Because those things, in our external actions, are most properly 
said to be from us, which are from our choice ; and no other external actions, 
but those that are from us, as because we are in them, i. e., our Wills are in 
them ; not so much because they are from some property of ours, as because 
they are our properties. 

However, all these external actions being truly from us, as their cause , 
and we being so used, in ordinary speech, and in the common affairs of life, to 
speak of men's actions and conduct that we see, and that affect human society, 
as deserving ill or well, as worthy of blame or praise ; hence it is come to pass, 
that philosophers have incautiously taken all their measures of good and evil, 
praise and blame, from the dictates of common sense, about these overt acts of 
men ; to the running of every thing into the most lamentable and dreadful con- 

And, therefore, I observe, 

III. It is so far from being true (whatever may be pretended) that the proof 
of the doctrine which has been maintained, depends on certain abstruse, unin- 
telligible, metaphysical terms and notions; and that the Arminian scheme, 
without needing such clouds and darkness for its defence, is supported by the 
plain dictates of common sense ; that the very reverse is most certainly true, and 
that to a great degree. It is fact, that they, and not we, have confounded 
things with metaphysical, unintelligible notions and phrases ; and have drawn 
them from the light of plain truth, into the gross darkness of abstruse, metaphy- 
sical propositions, and words without a meaning. Their pretended demonstra- 
tions depend very much on such unintelligible, metaphysical phrases, as self- 
determination, and sovereignty of the Will ; and the metaphysical sense they 
put on such terms, as necessity, contingency, action, agency, &c, quite diverse 
from their meaning as used in common speech ; and which, as they use them, 
are without any consistent meaning or any manner of distinct, consistent ideas ; 
as far from it as any of the abstruse terms and perplexed phrases of the peripa- 
tetic philosophers or the most unintelligible jargon of the schools, or the cant of 
the wildest fanatics. Yea, we may be bold to say, these metaphysical terms, 
on which they build so much, are what they use without knowing what they 


mean themselves ; they are pure metaphysical sounds, without any ideas what- 
soever in their minds to answer them ; inasmuch as it has been demonstrated, 
that there cannot be any notion in the mind consistent with these expressions, 
as they pretend to explain them ; because their explanations destroy themselves. 
No such notions as imply self-contradiction, and self-abolition, and this a great 
many ways, can subsist in the mind ; as there can be no idea of a whole which 
is less than any of its parts, or of solid extension without dimensions, or of an 
effect which is before its cause. — Arminians improve these terms, as terms of 
art, and in their metaphysical meaning, to advance and establish those things 
which are contrary to common sense, in ^high degree. Thus, instead of the 
plain, vulgar notion of liberty, which all mankind, in every part of the face of 
the earth, and in all ages, have ; consisting in opportunity to do as one pleases ; 
they have introduced a new, strange liberty, consisting in indifference, contin- 
gence, and self-determination ; by which, they involve themselves and others in 
great obscurity, and manifold gross inconsistence. So, instead of placing virtue 
and vice, as common sense places them very much, in fixed bias and inclination, 
and greater virtue and vice in stronger and more established inclination ; these, 
through their refinings and abstruse notions, suppose a liberty consisting in 
indifference, to be essential to all virtue and vice. So they have reasoned 
themselves, not by metaphysical distinctions, but metaphysical confusion, into 
many principles about moral agency, blame, praise, reward and punishment, 
which are, as has been shown, exceeding contrary to the common sense of 
mankind ; and perhaps to their own sense, which governs them in common life. 


Whether the things which have been alleged, are liable to any tolerable 
answer in the way of calm, intelligible and strict reasoning, I must leave others 
to judge ; but I am sensible they are liable to one sort of answer. It is not un- 
likely that some, who value themselves on the supposed rational and generous 
principles of the modern, fashionable divinity, will have their indignation and 
disdain raised at the sight of this discourse, and on perceiving what things are 
pretended to be proved in it. And if they think it worthy of being read, or of 
so much notice as to say much about it, they may probably renew the usual ex- 
clamations, with additional vehemence and contempt, about the fate of the hea- 
then, Hobbes' necessity, and making men mere machines ; accumulating the ter- 
rible epjjhets of fatal, unfrustrable, inevitable, irresistible, &c, and it may be, 
with the addition of horrid and blasphemous ; and perhaps much skill may be 
used to set forth things, which have been said, in colors which shall be shocking 
to the imaginations, and moving to the passions of those, who have either too 
little capacity, or too much confidence of the opinions they have imbibed, and 
contempt of the contrary, to try the matter by any serious and circumspect 
examination.* Or difficulties may be started and insisted on, which do not be- 
long to the controversy ; because, let them be more or less real, and hard to be 
resolved, they are not what are owing to any thing distinguishing of this scheme 
from that of the Arminians, and would not be removed nor diminished by re- 
nouncing the former, and adhering to the latter. Or some particular things 
may be picked out, which they may think will sound harshest in the ears of the 
generality ; and these may be glossed and descanted on, with tart and contemp- 
tuous words ; and from thence, the whole treated with triumph and insult. 

It is easy to see, how the decision of most of the points in controversy, be- 
tween Calvinists and Arminians, depends on the determination of this grand 
article concerning the freedom of the Will, requisite to moral agency ; and that by 
clearing and establishing the Calvinistic doctrine in this point, the chief argu- 
ments are obviated, by which Arminian doctrines in general are supported, and 
the contrary doctrines demonstratively confirmed. Hereby it becomes manifest, 
that God's moral government over mankind, his treating them as moral 
agents, making them the objects of his commands, counsels, calls, warnings, 
expostulations, promises, threatenings, rewards and punishments, is not inconsis- 
tent with a determining disposal of all events, of every kind, throughout the 

* A writer of the present age, whom I have several times had occasion to mention, speaks once and again 
of those who hold the doctrine of necessity, as scarcely worthy of the name of philosophers. — I do not know, 
whether he has respect to any particular notion of necessity, that some may have maintained ; and, if so, 
what doctrine of necessity it is that he means. — Whether I am worthy of the name of a philosopher, or 
not, would be a question little to the present purpose. If any, and ever so many, should deny it, 1 should 
not think it worth the while to enter into a dispute on that question. Though at the same time I might 
expect some better answer should be given to the arguments brought for the truth of the doctrine I main- 
tain ; and I might further reasonably desire, that it might be considered, whether it does not become those, 
who are truly worthy of the name of philosophers, to be sensible, that there is a difference between argu- 
ment and contempt; yea, and a difference between the contemptibleness of the person that argues, and the 
inconclusiveness of the arguments he offers. 


universe, in his providence ; either by positive efficiency, or permission. Indeed, 
such an universal, determining Providence infers some kind of necessity of all 
events, such a necessity as implies an infallible, previous fixedness of the futurity 
of the event ; but no other necessity of moral events, or volitions of intelligent 
agents, is needful in order to this, than moral necessity ; which does as much 
ascertain the futurity of the event, as any other necessity. But, as has been de- 
monstrated, such a necessity is not at all repugnant to moral agency, and a rea- 
sonable use of commands, calls, rewards, punishments, &c. Yea, not only are 
objections of this kind against the doctrine of an universal determining Provi- 
dence, removed by what has been said, but the truth of such a doctrine is 

As it has been demonstrated, that the futurity of all future events is established 
by previous necessity, either natural or moral ; so it is manifest that the Sove- 
reign Creator and Disposer of the world has ordered this necessity, by ordering his 
own conduct, either in designedly acting or forbearing to act. For, as the being 
of the world is from God, so trfe circumstances in which it had its being at first, 
both negative and positive, must be ordered by him, in one of these ways ; and all 
the necessary consequences of these circumstances, must be ordered by him. And 
God's active and positive interpositions, after the world was created, and the con- 
sequence of these interpositions ; also every instance of his forbearing to interpose, 
and the sure consequences of this forbearance, must all be determined according to 
his pleasure. And therefore every event, which \s the consequence of any thing 
whatsoever, or that is connected with any foregoing thing or circumstance, 
either positive or negative, as the ground or reason of its existence, must be 
ordered of God ; either by a designed efficiency and interposition, or a designed 
forbearing to operate or interpose. But, as has been proved, all events what- 
soever are necessarily connected with something foregoing, either positive or 
negative, which is the ground of their existence : it follows, therefore, that the 
whole series of events is thus connected with something in the state of things, 
either positive or negative, which is original in the series ; i. e. something which 
is connected with nothing preceding that, but God's own immediate conduct, 
either his acting or forbearing to act. From whence it follows, that as God 
designedly orders his own conduct, and its connected consequences, it must ne- 
cessarily be, that he designedly orders all things. 

The things which have % been said, obviate some of the chief objections of 
Arminians against the Calvinistic doctrine of the total depravity and corruption 
of man's nature, whereby his heart is wholly under the power of sin, and he is 
utterly unable, without the interposition of sovereign grace, savingly to love God, 
believe in Christ, or do any thing that is truly good and acceptable in God's 
sight. For the main objection against this doctrine is, that it is inconsistent with 
the freedom of man's Will, consisting in indifference and self-determining power ; 
because it supposes man to be under a necessity of sinning, and that God requires 
things of him in order to his avoiding eternal damnation, which he is unable to 
do ; and that this doctrine is wholly inconsistent with the sincerity of counsels, 
invitations, &c. Now, this doctrine supposes 710 other necessity of sinning, than 
a moral necessity ; which, as has been shown, does not at all excuse sin ; and 
supposes no other inability to obey any command, or perform any duty, even the 
most spiritual and exalted, but a moral inability, which, as has been proved, 
does not excuse persons in the nonperformance of any good thing, or make them 
not to be the proper objects of commands, counsels and invitations. And more- 
over, it has been shown that there is not, and never can be, either in existence, 
or so much as in idea, any such freedom of will, consisting in indifference and 

Vol. II 23 


self-determination, for the sake of which, this doctrine of original sin is cast out ; 
and that no such freedom is necessary, in order to the nature of sin, and a just 
desert of punishment. 

The things which have been observed, do also take off the main objections 
of Arminians against the doctrine of efficacious grace ; and at the same time 
prove the grace of God in a sinner's conversion (if there be any grace or divine 
influence in the affair) to be efficacious, yea, and irresistible too, if by irresisti- 
ble is meant that which is attended with a moral necessity, which it is impossible 
should ever be violated by any resistance. The main objection of Arminians 
agamst this doctrine is, that it is inconsistent with their self-determining freedom 
of Will ; and that it is repugnant to the nature of virtue, that it should be wrought 
in the heart by the determining efficacy and power of another, instead of its 
being owing to a self-moving power ; that in that case, the good which is wrought, 
would not be our virtue, but rather God's virtue ; because it is not the person 
in whom it is wrought, that is the determining author of it, but God that 
wrought it in him. But the things, which are the foundation of these objections, 
have been considered ; and it has been demonstrated that the liberty of moral 
agents does not consist in self-determining power, and that there is no need of 
any such liberty in order to the nature of virtue, nor does it at all hinder but that 
the state or act of the Will may be the virtue of the subject, though it be not 
from self-determination, but the determination of an extrinsic cause ; even so as 
to cause the event to be morally necessary to the subject of it. And as it has 
been proved, that nothing in the state or acts of the Will of man is contingent ; 
but that, on the contrary, every event of this kind is necessary, by a moral ne- 
cessity ; and as it has also been now demonstrated, that the doctrine of an uni- 
versal determining Providence, follows from that doctrine of necessity which 
was proved before ; and so that God does decisively, in his Providence, order 
all the volitions of moral agents, either by positive influence or permission ; and 
it being allowed, on all hands, that what God does in the affair of man's vir- 
tuous volitions, whether it be more or less, is by some positive influence, and 
not by mere permission, as in the affair of a sinful volition ; if we put these things 
together^ it will follow, that God's assistance or influence, must be determining 
and decisive, or must be attended with a moral necessity of the event ; and so, 
that God gives virtue, holiness and conversion to sinneis, by an influence which 
determines the effect, in such a manner, that the effect will infallibly follow by 
a moral necessity ; which is what Calvinists mean by efficacious and irresistible 

The things which have been said, do likewise answer the chief objections 
against the doctrine of God's universal and absolute decree, and afford infalli- 
ble proof of this doctrine ; and of the doctrine of absolute, eternal, personal elec- 
tion in particular. The main objections against these doctrines are, that they 
infer a necessity of the volitions of moral agents, and of the future, moral state 
and acts of men, and so are not consistent with those eternal rewards and pun- 
ishments, which are connected with conversion and impenitence ; nor can be 
made to agree with the reasonableness and sincerity of the precepts, calls, , 
counsels, warnings and expostulations of the word of God : or with the various 
methods and means of grace, which God uses with sinners, to bring them to 
repentance ; and the whole of that moral government, which God exercises 
towards mankind ; and that they infer an inconsistence between the secret, and 
revealed Will of God, and make God the author of sin. But all these things 
have been obviated in the preceding discourse. And the certain truth of these 
doctrines, concerning God's eternal purposes, will follow from what was just 


now observed concerning GocTs universal Providence ; how it infallibly follows 
from what has been proved, that God orders all events j and the volitions of 
moral agents amongst others by such a decisive disposal, that the events are 
infallibly connected with his disposal. For if God disposes all events, so that 
the infallible existence of the events is decided by his Providence, then he, 
doubtless, thus orders and decides things knowingly and on design. God does 
not do what he does, nor order what he orders, accidentally or, unawares ; either 
without or beside his intention. And if there be a foregoing design, of doing 
and ordering as he does, this is the same with a purpose or decree. And as it, 
has been shown that nothing is new to God in any respect, but all things are 
perfectly and equally in his view from eternity ; hence it will follow, that his 
designs or purposes are not things formed anew, founded on any new views or 
appearances, but are all eternal purposes. And as it has been now shown, how 
the doctrine of determining, efficacious grace certainly follows from things 
proved in the foregoing discourse ; hence will necessarily follow the doctrine of 
'particular, eternal, absolute election. For if men are made true saints, no other- 
wise than as God makes them so, and distinguishes them from others, by an 
efficacious power and influence of his, that decides and fixes the event ; and God 
thus makes some saints, and not others, on design or purpose, and (as has been 
now observed) no designs of God are new ; it follows, that God thus distinguish- 
ed from others, all that ever become true saints, by his eternal design or decree. 
I might also show how God's certain foreknowledge must suppose an absolute 
decree, and how such a decree can be proved to a demonstration from it ; but, 
that this discourse may not be lengthened out too much, that must be omitted 
for the present. 

From these things it will inevitably follow, that however Christ in some 
sense may be said to die for all, and to redeem all visible Christians, yea, the 
whole world by his death ; yet there must be something particular in the design 
jf his death, with respect to such as he intended should actually be saved there- 
by. As appears by what has been now shown, God has the actual salvation or 
redemption of a certain number in his proper, absolute design, and of a certain 
number only ; and therefore such a design only can be prosecuted in any thing 
God does, in order to the salvation of men. God pursues a proper design of 
the salvation of the elect in giving Christ to die, and prosecutes such a design 
with respect to no other, most strictly speaking : for it is impossible that God 
should prosecute any other design than only such as he has ; he certainly does 
not, in the highest propriety and strictness of speech, pursue a design that he 
has not. And, indeed, such a particularity and limitation of redemption will 
as infallibly follow, from the doctrine of God's foreknowledge, as from that of 
the decree. For it is as impossible, in strictness of speech, that God should 
prosecute a design, or aim at a thing, which He at the same time most perfectly 
knows will not be accomplished, as that he should use endeavors for that which 
is beside his decree. 

By the things which have been proved, are obviated some of the main ob- 
jections against the doctrine of the infallible and necessary perseverance of saints, 
and some of the main foundations Of this doctrine are established. The main 
prejudices of Arminians against this doctrine seem to be these. They suppose 
such a necessary, infallible perseverance to be repugnant to the freedom of the 
Will ; that it must be owing to man's own self-determining power, that hejirst 
becomes virtuous and holy ; and so, in like manner, it must be left a thing con- 
tingent, to be determined by the same freedom of Will, whether he will perse- 
vere in virtue and holiness ; and that otherwise his continuing steadfast in faitb 


and obedience would not be his virtue, or at all praiseworthy and rewardable, 
nor could his perseverance be properly the matter of divine commands, coun- 
sels and promises, nor his apostasy be properly threatened, and men warned 
against it. Whereas we find all these things in Scripture : there we find 
steadfastness and perseverance in true Christianity, represented as the virtue of 
the saints, spoken of as praiseworthy in them, and glorious rewards promised to 
it ; and also find that God makes it the subject of his commands, counsels and 
promises ; and the contrary, of threatenings and warnings. But the foundation 
of these objections has been removed, in its being shown that moral necessity 
and infallible certainty of events is not inconsistent with these things ; and that 
as to freedom of Will, lying in the power of the Will to determine itself, there 
neither is any such thing, nor any need of it, in order to virtue, reward, com- 
mands, counsels, &c. 

And as the doctrines of efficacious grace and absolute election do certainly 
follow from things which have been proved in the preceding discourse ; so some 
of the main foundations of the doctrine of perseverance, are thereby established. 
If the beginning of true faith and holiness, and a man's becoming a true saint 
at first, does not depend on the self-determining power of the Will, but on the 
determining, efficacious grace of God ; it may well be argued, that it is so also 
with respect to men's being continued saints, or persevering in faith and holiness. 
The conversion of a sinner being not owing to a man's self-determination, but to 
God's determination and eternal election, which is absolute and depending on 
the sovereign W 7 ill of God, and not on the free Will of man ; as is evident from 
what has been said ; and it being very evident from the Scriptures, that the 
eternal election which there is of saints to faith and holiness, is also an election 
of them to eternal salvation. Hence their appointment to salvation must also 
be absolute, and not depending on their contingent, self-determining Will. From 
all which it follows, that it is absolutely fixed in God's decree, that all true 
saints shall persevere to actual eternal salvation. 

But I must leave all these things to the consideration of the fair and im- 
partial reader ; and when he has maturely weighed them, I would propose it 
to his consideration, whether many of the first reformers, and others that suc- 
ceeded them, whom God in their day made the chief pillars of his church, and 
greatest instruments of their deliverance from error and darkness, and of the 
support of the cause of piety among them, have not been injured in the con- 
tempt with which they have been treated by many late writers, for their teach- 
ing and maintaining such doctrines as are commonly called Calvinistic. In- 
deed, some of these new writers, at the same time that they have represented 
the doctrines of these ancient and eminent divines as in the highest degree ri- 
diculous, and contrary to common sense, in an ostentation of a very generous 
charity, have allowed that they were honest, well-meaning men ; yea, it may 
be, some of them, as though it were in great condescension and compassion to 
them, have allowed that they did pretty well for the day in which they lived, 
and considering the great disadvantages they labored under ; when at the same 
time, their manner of speaking has naturally and plainly suggested to the minds 
of their readers, that they were persons, who, through the lowness of their 
genius, and greatness of the bigotry with which their minds were shackled and 
thoughts confined, living in the gloomy caves of superstition, fondly embraced, 
and demurely and zealously taught the most absurd, silly, and monstrous opin- 
ions, worthy of the greatest contempt of gentlemen possessed of that noble 
and generous freedom of thought, which happily prevails in this age of light 
and inquiry. When, indeed, such is the case, that we might, if so disposed, 


speak as big words as they, and on far better grounds. And really all the Jlr- 
minians on earth might be challenged, without arrogance or vanity, to make 
these principles of theirs, wherein they mainly differ from their fathers, whom 
they so much despise, consistent with common sense ; yea, and perhaps to pro- 
duce any doctrine ever embraced by the blindest bigot of the church of Rome, 
or the most ignorant Mussulman or extravagant enthusiast, that might be re- 
duced to more demonstrable inconsistencies, and repugnancies to common sense, 
and to themselves ; though their inconsistencies indeed may not lie so deep, or 
be so artfully veiled by a deceitful ambiguity of words, and an indeterminate 
signification of phrases. I will not deny, that these gentlemen, many of them, 
are men of great abilities, and have been helped to higher attainments in phi- 
losophy, than those ancient divines, and have done great service to the church 
of God in some respects ; but I humbly conceive that their differing from their 
fathers with such magisterial assurance, in these points in divinity, must be 
owing to some other cause than superior wisdom. 

It may also be worthy of consideration, whether the great alteration, which 
has been made in the state of things in our nation, and some other parts of the 
Protestant world, in this and the past age, by the exploding so generally Cal- 
vinistic doctrines, that is so often spoken of as worthy to be greatly rejoiced in 
by the friends of truth, learning and virtue, as an instance of the great increase of 
light in the Christian church; I say, it may be worthy to be considered, whether 
this be indeed a happy change, owing to any such cause as an increase of true 
knowledge and understanding in things of religion; or whether there is not 
reason to fear, that it may be owing to some worse cause. 

And I desire it may >e considered, whether the boldness of some writers 
may not be worthy to be reflected on, who have not scrupled to say, that if 
these and those things are true (which yet appear to be the demonstrable dic- 
tates of reason, as well as the certain dictates of the mouth of the Most High), 
then God is unjust and cruel, and guilty of manifest deceit and double dealing, 
and the like. Yea, some have gone so far, as confidently to assert, that if any 
book which pretends to be Scripture, teaches such doctrines, that alone is suffi- 
cient warrant for mankind to reject it, as what cannot be the word of God. — 
Some, who have not gone so far, have said, that if the Scripture seems to teach 
any such doctrines, so contrary to reason, we are obliged to find out some other 
interpretation of those texts, where such doctrines seem to be exhibited. Others 
express themselves yet more modestly : they express a tenderness and religious 
fear, lest they should receive and teach any thing that should seem to reflect on 
God's moral character, or be a disparagement to his methods of administration, 
in his moral government ; and therefore express themselves as not daring to 
embrace some doctrines, though they seem to be delivered in Scripture, accord- 
ing to the more obvious and natural construction of the words. But indeed it 
would show a truer modesty and humility, if they would more entirely rely on 
God's wisdom and discerning, who knows infinitely better than we, what it 
agreeable to his own perfections, and never intended to leave these matters to 
the decision of the wisdom and discerning of men ; but by his own unerring 
instruction, to determine for us what the truth is ; knowing how little our judg- 
ment is to be depended on, and how extremely prone vain and blind men are 
to err in such matters. 

The truth of the case is, that if the Scripture plainly taught the opposite 
doctrines, to those that are so much stumbled at, viz., the Arminian doctrine 
of free Will, and others depending thereon, it would be the greatest of all diffi- 
culties that attend the Scriptures, incomparably greater than its containing any, 


even the most mysterious of those doctrines of the first reformers, which our late 
free-thinkers have so superciliously exploded. — Indeed, it is a glorious argu- 
ment of the divinity of the holy Scriptures, that they teach such doctrines, which 
in one age and another, through the blindness of men's minds, and strong pre- 
judices of their hearts, are rejected, as most absurd and unreasonable, by the 
wise and great men of the world ; which yet, when they are most carefully 
and strictly examined, appear to be exactly agreeable to the most demonstra- 
ble, certain and natural dictates of reason. By such things it appears, that the 
foolishness of God is wiser than men, and God does as is said in 1 Cor. i. 19, 20 : 
" For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise ; I will bring to no- 
thing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise ? Where is the 
scribe ? Where is the disputer of this world ? Hath not God made foolish the 
wisdom of this world ?" And as it used to be in time past, so it is probable, it 
will be in time to come, as it is there written, in verses 27, 28, 29 : " But God 
hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise ; and God 
hath chosen the weak things of the world, to confound the things that are 
mighty ; and base things of the world, the things which are despised, hath God 
chosen : yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are ; that 
no flesh should glory in his presence." Amen. 


on the essays on the principles of morality and natural religion, in a letter 
to a minister of the church of scotland. 

Reverend Sir : 

The intimations you have given me of the use which has, by some, been 
made of what I have written on the Freedom of the Will, &c., to vindicate what 
is said on the subject of liberty and necessity, by the author of the Essays on the 
Principles of Morality and Natural Religion, has occasioned my reading t v; s 
author's essay on that subject, with particular care and attention. And I think 
it must be evident to every one, that has read both his Essay and my Inquiry, 
that our schemes are exceeding reverse from each other. The wide difference 
appears particularly in the following things. 

This author supposes, that such a necessity takes place with respect to all 
men's actions, as is inconsistent with liberty,* and plainly denies that men have 
any liberty in acting. Thus in p. 168, after he had been speaking of the 
necessity of our determinations, as connected with motives, he concludes with 
saying, " In short, if inotives are not under our power or direction, which is 

confessedly the fact, we can at bottom have no liberty." Whereas, I 

have abundantly expressed it as my mind, that man, in his moral actions, has 
true liberty ; and that the moral necessity, which universally takes place, is not 
in the least inconsistent with any thing that is properly called liberty, and with the 
utmost liberty that can be desired, or that can possibly exist or be conceived of.f 

I find that some are apt to think, that in that kind of moral necessity of men's 
volitions, which I suppose to be universal, at least some degree of liberty is 
denied ; that though it be true I allow a sort of liberty, yet those who maintain 
a self-determining power in the Will, and a liberty of contingence and indiffer- 
ence, hold a higher sort of freedom than I do ; but I think this is certainly a 
great mistake. 

Liberty, as I have explained it, in p. 17, and other places, is the power, 
opportunity, or advantage, that any one has to do as he pleases, or conducting in 
any respect, according to his pleasure; without considering how his pleasure 
comes to be as it is. It is demonstrable, and, I think, has been demonstrated, 
that no necessity of men's volitions that I maintain, is inconsistent with this 
liberty ; and I think it is impossible for any one to rise higher in his conceptions 
of liberty than this : if any imagine they desire higher, and that they conceive of 
a higher and greater liberty than this, they are deceived, and delude themselves 
with confused ambiguous words, instead of ideas. If any one should here say, 
" Yes, I conceive of a freedom above and beyond the liberty a man has of con- 
ducting in any respect as he pleases, viz., a liberty of choosing as he pleases." 
Such a one, if he reflected, would either blush or laugh at his own instance. 
For, is not choosing as he pleases, conducting, in some respect, according to his 
pleasure, and still without determining how he came by that pleasure ? If he 

• P. 160, 161, 164, 165, and many other places. 

i Inquiry, p. 17—20. 100, 101. 151—156, 163, 167, 177, 178-182. 


says, " Yes, I came by that pleasure by my own choioe." If he be a man of 
common sense, by this time he will see his own absurdity ; for he must needs 
see that his notion or conception, even of this liberty, does not contain any 
judgment or conception, how he comes by that choice, which first determines 
his pleasure, or which originally fixed his own will respecting the affair. Or if 
any shall say, " That a man exercises liberty in this, even in determining his 
own choice, but not as he pleases, or not in consequence of any choice, prefer- 
ence, or inclination of his own, but by a determination arising contingently out 
of a state of absolute indifference ;" this is not rising higher in his conception 
of liberty ; as such a determination of the Will would not be a voluntary deter- 
mination of it. Surely he that places liberty in a power of doing something not 
according to his own choice, or from his choice, has not a higher notion of it, than 
he that places it in doing as he pleases, or acting from his own election. If there 
were a power in the mind to determine itself, but not by its choice or according 
to its pleasure, what advantage would it give 1 And what liberty, worth con- 
lending for, would be exercised in it ? Therefore no Arminian, Pelagian, or 
Epicurean, can rise higher in his conceptions of liberty, than the notion of it 
which I have explained : which notion is apparently, perfectly consistent with 
the whole of that necessity of men's actions, which I suppose takes place. And 
I scruple not to say, it is beyond all their wits to invent a higher notion, or form 
a higher imagination of liberty ; let them talk of sovereignty of the Will, self- 
•determining power, self-motion, self-direction, arbitrary decision, liberty ad 
utrumvis, power of choosing differently in given cases, &c. &c, as long as they 
will. It is apparent that these men, in their strenuous affirmation and dispute 
about these things, aim at they know not what, fighting for something they have 
no conception of, substituting a number of confused, unmeaning words, instead 
of things, and instead of thoughts. They may be challenged clearly to explain 
what they would have : they never can answer the challenge. 

The author of the Essays, through his whole Essay on Liberty and Necessity, 
goes on the supposition, that, in order to the being of real liberty, a man must 
have a freedom that is opposed to moral necessity; and yet he supposes, p. 175, 
that " such a liberty must signify a power in the mind of acting without and 
against motives, a power of acting without any view, purpose or design, and 
even of acting in contradiction to our own desires and aversions, and to all our 
principles of action ; and is an absurdity altogether inconsistent with a rational 
nature. Now, who ever imagined such a liberty as this, a higher sort or degree 
of freedom, than a liberty of following one's own views and purposes, and 
acting agreeable to his own inclinations and passions '! Who will ever reason- 
ably suppose that liberty, which is an absurdity altogether inconsistent with a 
rational nature, to be a kind of liberty above that which is consistent with the 
nature of a rational, intelligent, designing agent ? 

The author of the Essays seems to suppose such a necessity to take place, as 
is inconsistent with some supposable power of arbitrary choice ;* or that there is 
some liberty conceivable, whereby men's own actions might be more properly 
in their power, -f and by which events might be more dependent on ourselves ; % 
contrary to what I suppose to be evident in my Inquiry.^ What way can be 
imagined, of our actions being more m our power, from ourselves, or dependent 
on ourselves, than their being from our power to fulfil our own choice, to act 
from our own inclination, pursue our own views, and execute our own designs ? 
Certainly, to be able to act thus, is as properly having our actions in our power, 

*■ P. 169. f P. 191, 195, 197, 206. t P. 183. $ P. 181, 182. 



and dependent on ourselves, as a being liable to be the subjects of acts and 
events, contingently and fortuitously, without desire, view, purpose or design, or 
any principle of action within ourselves ; as we must be according to this author's 
own declared sense, if our actions are performed with that liberty that is opposed 
to moral necessity. 

This author seems everywhere to suppose, that necessity, most properly so 
called, attends all men's actions ; and that the terms necessary, unavoidable, im- 
ossible, &c, are equally applicable to the case of moral and natural necessity. 
n p. 173, he says, " The idea of necessary and unavoidable, equally agrees, 
both to moral and physical necessity." And in p. 184, " All things that fall 
out in the natural and moral world are alike necessary." P. 174, " This inclina- 
tion and choice is unavoidably caused or occasioned by the prevailing motive. In 
this lies the necessity of our actions, that, in such circumstances, it was impossible 
we could act otherwise." He often expresses himself in like manner elsewhere, 
speaking in strong terms of men's actions as unavoidable, what they cannot 
forbear, having no power over their own actions, the order of them being un- 
alterably fixed and inseparably linked together, &c* 

On the contrary, I have largely declared, that the connection between an- 
tecedent things and consequent ones, which takes place with regard to the acts 
of men's Wills, which is called moral necessity, is called by the name of neces- 
sity improperly ; and that all such terms as must, cannot, impossible, unable, ir- 
resistible, unavoidable, invincible, &c, when applied here, are not applied in their 
proper signification, and are either used nonsensically, and with perfect insignifi- 
cance, or in a sense quite diverse from their original and proper meaning, and 
their use in common speech ; and, that such a necessity as attends the acts of 
men's Wills, is more properly called certainty, than necessity ; it being no other 
than the certain connection between the subject and predicate of the proposition 
which affirms their existence. 

Agreeably to what is observed in my Inquiry, I think it is evidently owing 
to a strong prejudice in persons' minds, arising from an insensible, habitual 
perversion and misapplication of such like terms as necessary, impossible, 
unable, unavoidable, invincible, &c, that they are ready to think, that to suppose 
a certain connection of men's volitions, without any foregoing motives or incli- 
nations, or any preceding moral influence whatsoever, is truly and properly to 
suppose such a strong, irrefragable chain of causes and effects, as stands in the 
way of, and makes utterly vain, opposite desires and endeavors, like immovable 
and impenetrable mountains of brass ; and impedes our liberty like walls of 
adamant, gates of brass, and bars of iron : whereas, all such representations 
suggest ideas as far from the truth, as the east is from the west. Nothing that I 
maintain, supposes that men are at all hindered by any fatal necessity, from 
doing, and even willing and choosing as they please, with full freedom ; yea, 
with the highest degree of liberty that ever was thought of, or that ever could 
possibly enter into the heart of any man to conceive. I know it is in vain to 
endeavor to make some persons believe this, or at least fully and steadily to 
believe it ; for if it be demonstrated to them, still the old prejudice remains, 
which has been long fixed by the use of the terms necessary, must, cannot, im- 
possible, &c. ; the association with these terms of certain ideas, inconsistent with 
liberty, is not broken ; and the judgment is powerfully warped by it , as a thing 
that has been long bent and grown stiff*, if it be straightened, will return to 
its former curvity again and again. 

• P. 180, 188, 193, 194, 195, 197, 198, 399, 205, 206. 

Vol. II. 24 

186 x REMARKS. 

The author of the Essays most manifestly supposes that if men had the 
truth concerning the real necessity of all their actions clearly in view, they 
would not appear to themselves, or one another, as at all praiseworthy or cul- 
pable, or under any moral obligation, or accountable for their actions ;* which 
supposes, that men are not to be blamed or praised for any of their actions, and 
are not under any obligations, nor are truly accountable for any thing they do, 
by reason of this necessity ; which is very contrary to what I have endeavored 
to prove, throughout the third part of my Inquiry. I humbly conceive it is 
there shown, that this is so far from the truth, that the moral necessity of men's 
actions 7 , which truly take place, is requisite to the being of virtue and vice, or 
any thing praiseworthy or culpable : that the liberty of indifference and contin- 
gence, which is advanced in opposition to that necessity, is inconsistent with the 
being of these ; as it would suppose that men are not determined in what they 
do, by any virtuous or vicious principles, nor act from any motives, intentions 
or aims whatsoever ; or have any end, either good or bad, in acting. And is it 
not remarkable, that this author should suppose, that, in order to men's actions 
truly having any desert, they must be performed without any view, purpose, 
design, or desire, or any principle of action, or any thing agreeable to a rational 
nature ? As it will appear that he does, if we compare p, 206, 207, with p. 175. 

The author of the Essays supposes, that God has deeply implanted in man's 
nature, a strong and invincible apprehension or feeling, as he calls it, of a lib- 
erty and contingence, of his own actions, opposite to that necessity which truly 
attends them ; and which in truth does not agree with real fact,f is not agreea- 
ble to strict, philosophic truth,J is contradictory to the truth of things,§ and 
which truth contradicts,|| not tallying with the real plan ;( and that therefore 
such feelings are deceitful,** are in reality of the delusive kind.j+ He speaks 
of them as a wise delusion,JJ as nice, artificial feelings, merely that conscience 
may have a commanding power ;§§ meaning plainly, that these feelings are a 
cunning artifice of the Author of Nature, to make men believe they are free, 
when they are not.|||| He supposes that, by these feelings, the moral world has 
a disguised appearance.U1T And other things of this kind he says. He sup- 
poses that all self-approbation, and all remorse of conscience, all commendation 
or condemnation of ourselves or others, all sense of desert, and all that is con- 
nected with this way of thinking, all the ideas which at present are suggested 
by the words ought, should, arise from this delusion, and would entirely vanish 
without it.*f 

All which is very contrary to what I have abundantly insisted on and endeavor- 
ed to demonstrate in my Inquiry, where I have largely shown that it is agreeable 
to the natural sense of mankind, that the moral necessity or certainty that 
attends men's actions, is consistent with praise and blame, reward, and punish- 
ment ;*% and that it is agreeable to our natural notions, that moral evil, with 
its desert of dislike and abhorrence, and all its other ill-deservings, consists in a 
certain deformity in the nature of the dispositions and acts of the heart, and not 
in the evil of something else, diverse from these, supposed to be their cause or 

I might well ask here, whether any one is to be found in the world of man- 
kind, who is conscious to a sense or feeling, naturally and deeply rooted in kii 
mind, that in order to a man's performing any action that is praise or blame 

* P. 207, 209, and otherplaces. t P. 200. *P.152. § P. 183. IIP. 186. 1TP.20{ 

•• P. 203, 204, 211. ft P. 183.» P. 209. §§ P. 211. Illl P. 153. TNT 214. *t P. 160, i94 

199, 205, 206, 209. *t Inquiry, Part IV. Sect. 4, throughout. *§ Idem, Bart IV. S«rt 1 

throughout, and p. 174, 175. 

REMARKS. ' 187 

worthy, he must exercise a liberty that implies and signifies a power of acting 
without any motive, view, design, desire or principle of action ? For such a 
liberty, this author supposes that must be which is opposed to moral necessity, 
as I have already observed once and again. Supposing a man should actually 
do good, independent of desire, aim, inducement, principle or end, is it a dictate 
of invincible, natural sense, that his act is more meritorious or praiseworthy, 
than if he had performed it for some good end, and had been governed in it by 
good principles and motives ? And so I might ask on the contrary, with respect 
to evil actions.* 

The author of the Essays supposes that the liberty without necessity, which 
we have a natural feeling of, implies contingence ; and speaking of this contin- 
gence, he sometimes calls it by the name of chance. And it is evident that his 
notion of it, or rather what he says about it, implies things happening loosely, 
fortuitously, by accident, and without a cause* Now I conceive the slightest re- 
flection may be sufficient to satisfy any one that such a contingence of men's 
actions, according to our natural sense, is so far from being essential to the moral- 
ity or merit of those actions, that it would destroy it ; and that, on the contrary, 
the dependence of our actions on such causes as inward inclinations, incitements 
and ends, is essential to the being of it. Natural sense teaches men, when they 
see any thing done by others of a good or evil tendency, to inquire what their 
intention was ; what principles and views they were moved by, in order to 
judge how far they are to be justified or condemned ; and not to determine, that 
in order to their being approved or blamed at all, the action must be performed 
altogether fortuitously, proceeding from nothing, arising from no cause. Con- 
cerning this matter I have fully expressed my mind in the Inquiry. 

If the liberty which we have a natural sense of as necessary to desert, 
consists in the mind's self-determination, without being determined by previous 
inclination or motive, then indifference is essential to it, yea, absolute indifference, 
as is observed in my Inquiry. But men naturally have no notion of any such 
liberty as this, as essential to the morality, or demerit of their actions ; but, on 
the contrary, such a liberty, if it were possible, would be inconsistent with our 
natural notions of desert, as is largely shown in the Inquiry. If it be agreeable 
to natural sense, that men must be indifferent in determining their own actions, 
then, according to the same, the more they are determined by inclination, 
either good or bad, the less they have of desert. The more good actions 
are performed from good dispositions, the less praiseworthy ; and the more evil 
deeds are from evil dispositions, the less culpable ; and in general, the more 
men's actions are from their hearts, the less they are to be commended or con- 
demned ; which all must know is very contrary to natural sense. 

Moral necessity is owing to the power and government of the inclination of 
the heart, either habitual or occasional, excited by motive ; but according to nat- 
ural and common sense, the more a man does any thing with full inclination of 
heart, the more is it to be charged to his account for his condemnation if it be 
an ill action, and the more to be ascribed to him for his praise, if t be good. 

If the mind were determined to evil actions by contingence, from a state of 
indifference, then either there would be no fault in them, or else the fault would 
be in being so perfectly indifferent, that the mind was equally liable to a bad 
or good determination. And if this influence be liberty, then the very essence 
of the blame or fault would lie in the liberty itself, or the wickedness would, 
primarily and summarily, lie in being a free agent If there were no fault in 

• See this matter illustrated in my Inquiry, Part IV. Sect. 4. t P. 156—159, 177, 178, 181, 183—185. 


being indifferent, then there would be no fault in the determination's being 
agreeable to such a state of indifference ; that is, there could no fault be rea- 
sonably found with this, viz., that opposite determinations actually happen to 
take place indifferently sometimes good and sometimes bad, as contingence 
governs and decides. And if it be a fault to be indifferent to good and evil, 
then such indifference is no indifference to good and evil,. but is a determination 
to evil, or to a fault ; and such an indifferent disposition would be an evil, faulty 
disposition, tendency or determination of mind. So inconsistent are these no- 
tions of liberty, as essential to praise or blame. 

The author of the Essays supposes men's natural, delusive sense of a liberty 
of contingence, to be in truth, the foundation of all the labor, care and industry of 
mankind ;* and that if men's practical ideas had been formed on the plan of 
universal necessity, the ignava ratio, the inactive doctrine of the Stoics, would 
have folloujed ; and that there would have been no room for forethought about 
futurity, or any sort of industry and care ;f plainly implying, that in this case 
men would see and know that all their industry and care signified nothing, was 
in vain and to no ^purpose, or of no benefit ; events being fixed in an irrefraga- 
ble chain, and not at all depending on their care and endeavor ; as he explains 
himself, particularly m the instance of men's use of means to prolong life ;{ 
not only very contrary to what I largely maintain in my Inquiry, but also very 
inconsistently with his own scheme, in what he supposes of the ends for which 
God has so deeply implanted this deceitful feeling in man's nature ; in which 
he manifestly supposes men's care and industry not to be in vain and of no ben- 
efit, but of great use, yea, of absolute necessity, in order to the obtaining the 
most important ends and necessary purposes of human life, and to fulfil the ends 
of action to the best advantage, as he largely declares.^ Now, how shall these 
things be reconciled ? That if men had a clear view of real truth, they would 
see that there was no room for their care and industry, because they would see 
it to be in vain, and of no benefit ; and yet that God, by having a clear view of 
real truth, sees that their being excited to care and industry, will be of excel- 
lent use to mankind, and greatly for the benefit of the world, yea, absolutely 
necessary in order to it ; and that therefore the great wisdom and goodness oi 
God to men appears, in artfully contriving to put them on care and industry 
for their good, which good could not be obtained without them ; and yet both 
these things are maintained at once, and in the same sentences and words by 
this author. The very reason he gives, why God has put this deceitful feeling 
into men, contradicts and destroys itself. That God in his great goodness to 
men gave them such a deceitful feeling, because it was very useful and neces- 
sary for them, and greatly for their benefit, or excites them to care and industry 
for their own good, which care and industry is useful and necessary to that end ; 
and yet the very thing that this great benefit of care and industry is given as a 
reason for, is God's deceiving men in this very point, in making them think 
their care and industry to be of great benefit to them, when indeed it is of none 
at all ; and if they saw the real truth, they would see all their endeavors to be 
wholly useless, that there was no room for them, and that the event does not at 
all depend upon them.H 

And besides, what this author says plainly implies (as appears by what has 
been already observed), that it is necessary men should be deceived, by being 
made to believe that future events are contingent, and their own future actions 
free, with such a freedom, as signifies that their actions are not the fruit of their 

* P. 184. 1 P. 189. t P. 184. 185. § P. 188—192, and in many other places. IT *> 188, 189, &<x 


own desires or designs, but altogether contingent, fortuitous, and without a 
cause. But how should a notion of liberty, consisting in accident or loose 
chance, encourage care and industry 1 I should think it would rather entirely 
discourage every thing of this nature. For surely, if our actions do not depend 
on our desires and designs, then they do not depend on our endeavors, flowing 
from our desires and designs. This autnor himself seems to suppose, that if 
men had, indeed, such a liberty of contingence, it would render all endeavors 
to determine or move men's future volitions vain ; he says, that in this case to 
exhort, to instruct, to promise, or to threaten, would be to no purpose. Why 1 
Because (as he himself gives the reason), then our Will would be capricious and 
arbitrary, and we should be thrown loose altogether, and our arbitrary power 
could do us good or ill only by accident. But if such a loose, fortuitous state 
would render vain other endeavors upon us, for the same reason would it make 
useless our endeavors on ourselves ; for events that are truly contingent and 
accidental, and altogether loose from, and independent of, all foregoing causes, 
are independent on every foregoing cause within ourselves, as well as in others. 

I suppose that it is so far from being true, that our minds are naturally pos- 
sessed with a notion of such liberty as this, so strongly that it is impossible to 
root it out ; that indeed men have no such notion of liberty at all, and that it is 
utterly impossible, by any means whatsoever, to implant or introduce such a 
notion into the mind. As no such notions as imply self-contradiction and self- 
abolition can subsisj in the mind, as I have shown in my Inquiry, I think a ma- 
ture, sensible consideration of the matter, sufficient to satisfy any one, that even 
the greatest and most learned advocates themselves for liberty of indifference 
and self-determination, have no such notion ; and that indeed they mean some- 
thing wholly inconsistent with, and directly subversive of, what they strenuous- 
ly affirm, and earnestly contend for. By man's having a power of determining 
his own Will, they plainly mean a power of determining his Will, as he pleases, 
or as he chooses ; which supposes that the mind has a choice, prior to its going 
about to confirm any action or determination to it. And if they mean that they 
determine even the original or prime choice, by their own pleasure or choice, as 
the thing that causes and directs it ; I scruple not most boldly to affirm, that 
they speak they know not what, and that of which they have no manner of 
idea, because no such contradictory notion can come into, or have a moment's 
subsistence in the mind of any man living, as an original or first choice being 
caused, or brought into being, by choice. After all, they say they have no 
higher or other conception of liberty, than that vulgar notion of it, which I con- 
tend for, viz., a man's having power or opportunity to do as he chooses ; or if 
they had a notion that every act of choice was determined by choice, yet it 
would destroy their notion of the contingence of choice ; for then no one act of 
choice would arise contingently, or from a state of indifference, but every indi- 
vidual act, in all the series, would arise from foregoing bias or preference, and 
from a cause predetermining and fixing its existence, which introduces at once 
such a chain of causes and effects, each preceding link decisively fixing the fol- 
lowing, as they would by all means avoid. 

And such kind of delusion and self-contradiction as this, does not arise in 
men's minds by nature ; it is not owing to any natural feeling which God has 
strongly fixed in the mind and nature of man ; but to false philosophy, and 
strong prejudice, from a deceitful abuse of words. It is artificial, not in the 
sense of the author of the Essays, supposing it to be a deceitful artifice of God ; 
but artificial as opposed to natural, and as owing to an artificial, deceitful man- 
agement of terms, to darken and confound the mind. Men have no such 


thing when they first begin to exercise reason ; but must have a great deal of 
time to blind themselves, with metaphysical confusion, before they can embrace, 
and rest in such definitions of liberty as are given, and imagine they understand 

Qn the whole, I humbly conceive, that whosoever will give himself the 
trouble of weighing what I have offered to consideration in my Inquiry, must be 
sensible, that such a moral necessity of men's actions as I maintain, is not at all 
inconsistent with any liberty that any creature has, or can have, as a free, ac- 
countable, moral agent, and subject of moral government ; and that this moral 
necessity is so far from being inconsistent with praise and blame, and the bene 
fit and use of men's own care and labor, that, on the contrary, it implies the 
very ground and reason, why men's actions are to be ascribed to them as their 
own, in that manner as to infer desert, praise and blame, approbation and re- 
morse of conscience, reward and punishment ; and that it establishes the moral 
system of the universe, and God's moral government, in every respect, with 
the proper use of motives, exhortations, commands, counsels, promises, and 
threatenings ; and the use and benefit of endeavors, care and industry ; and 
that therefore there is no need that the strict philosophic truth should be at all 
concealed from men ; no danger in contemplation and profound discovery in 
these things. So far from this, that the truth in this matter is of vast impor- 
tance, and extremely needful to be known ; and that the more clearly and per- 
fectly the real fact is known, and the more constantly it is in* view, the better ; 
and particularly, that the clear and full knowledge of that, which is the true 
system of the universe, in these respects, would greatly establish the doctrines 
which teach the true Christian scheme of Divine Administration in the city of 
God, and the gospel of Jesus Christ, in its most important articles ; and that 
these things never can be well established, and the opposite errors, so subver- 
sive of the whole gospel, which at this day so greatly and generally prevail, be 
well confuted, or the arguments by which they are maintained, answered, till 
these points are settled. While this is not done, it is, to me, beyond doubt, that 
the friends of those great gospel truths will but poorly maintain their controver- 
sy with the adversaries of those truths. They will be obliged often to dodge, 
shuffle, hide, and turn their backs : and the latter will have a strong fort, from 
whence they never can be driven, and weapons to use, which those whom they 
oppose will find no shield to screen themselves from ; and they will always 
puzzle, confound, and keep under the friends of sound doctrine, and glory and 
vaunt themselves in their advantage over them ; and carry their affairs with a 
high hand, as they have done already for a long time past. i 

I conclude, sir, with asking your pardon for troubling you with so much said 
in vindication of myself from the imputation of advancing a scheme of necessi- 
ty, of a like nature with that of the author of the Essays on the Principles of 
Morality and Natural Religion. Considering that what I have said is not only 
in vindication of myself, but, as I think, of the most important articles of moral 
philosophy and religion ; I trust in what I know of your candor, that you will 

Your' obliged friend and brother, 

Stockbridge, July 25, 1757. 









To avoid all confusion in our inquiries and reasonings, concerning the end 
for which God created the world, a distinction should be observed between the 
chief end for which an agent or efficient exerts any act and performs any work, 
and the ultimate end. These two phrases are not always precisely of the same 
signification : and though the chief end be always an ultimate end, yet every 
ultimate end is not always a chief end. 

A chief end is opposite to an inferior end : an ultimate end is opposite to a 
subordinate end. A subordinate end is something that an agent seeks and aims 
at in what he does ; but yet does not seek it, or regard it at all upon its own 
account, but wholly on the account of a further end, or in order to some other 
thing, which it is considered as a means of. Thus, when a man that goes a 
journey to obtain a medicine to cure him of some disease, and restore his health, 
the obtaining that medicine is his subordinate end ; because it is not an end 
that he seeks for itself, or values at all upon its own account, but wholly as 
a means of a further end, viz., his health. Separate the medicine from that 
further end, and it is esteemed good for nothiug ; nor is it at all desired. 

An ultimate end is that which the agent seeks in what he does, for its own 
sake : that he has respect to, as what he loves, values and takes pleasure in on 
its own account, and not merely as a means of a further end. As when a man 
loves the taste of some particular sort of fruit, and is at pains and cost to ob- 
tain it, for the sake of the pleasure of that taste, which he values upon its own 
account, as he loves his own pleasure ; and not merely for the sake of any 
other good, which he supposes his enjoying that pleasure will be the means of. 

Some ends are subordinate ends, not only as they are subordinated to an 
ultimate end, but also to another end that is itself but a subordinate end : yea, 
there may be a succession or chain of many subordinate ends, one dependent 
on another — one sought for another : the first for the next, and that for the 
sake of the next to that, and so on in a long series before you come to any 
thing, that the agent aims at and seeks for its own sake : as when a man sells 
a garment to get money — to buy tools — to till his land — to obtain a crop — to 
supply him with food — to gratify the appetite. And he seeks to gratify his 
appetite, on its own account, as what is grateful in itself. Here the end of his 
selling his garment, is to get money ; but getting money is only a subordinate 
end : it is not only subordinate to the last end, his gratifying his appetite ; but 
to a nearer end, viz., his buying husbandry tools ; and bis obtaining these, is 


only a subordinate end, being only for the sake of tilling land ; and the tillage 
of land is an end not sought on its own account, but for the sake of the crop to 
be produced ; and the crop produced is not an ultimate end, or an end sought 
for itself, but only for the sake of making bread ; and the having bread, is not 
sought on its own account, but for the sake of gratifying the appetite. 

Here the gratifying the appetite, is called the ultimate end ; because it is 
the last in the chain, where a man's aim and pursuit stops and rests, obtaining 
iu that, the thing finally aimed at. So whenever a man comes to that in which 
his desire terminates and rests, it being something valued on its own account, 
then he comes to an ultimate end, let the chain be longer or shorter ; yea, if 
there be but one link or one step that he takes before he comes to this end. 
As when a man that loves honey puts it into his mouth, for the sake of the 
pleasure of the taste, without aiming a s t any thing further. So that an end 
which an agent has in view, may be both his immediate and his ultimate end ; 
his next and his last end. That end which is sought for the sake of itself, and 
not for :he sake of a further end, is an ultimate end ; it is ultimate or last, as 
it has no other beyond it, for whose sake it is, it being for the sake of itself : 
so that here the aim of the agent stops and rests (without going further), being 
come to the good which he esteems a recompense of its pursuit for its own 

Here it is to be noted that a thing sought, may have the nature of an ultimate, 
and also of a subordinate end ; as it may be sought partly on its own account, 
and partly for the sake of a further end. Thus a man in what he does, may 
seek the love and respect of a particular person, partly on its own account, be- 
cause it is in itself agreeable to men to be the objects of others' esteem and love : 
and partly, because he hopes, through the friendship of that person to have his 
assistance in other affairs ; and so to be put under advantage for the obtaining 
further ends. 

A chief end or highest end, which is opposite not properly to a subordi- 
nate end, but to an inferior end, is something diverse from an ultimate end. The 
chief end is an end that is most valued ; and therefore most sought after by the 
agent in what he does. It is evident, that to be an end more valued than another 
end, is not exactly the same thing as to be an end valued ultimately, or for its 
own sake. This will appear, if it be considered, 

1. That two different ends may be both ultimate ends, and yet not be chief 
ends. They may be both valued for their own sake, and both sought in the 
same work or acts, and yet one valued more highly and sought more than 
another : thus a man may go a journey to obtain two different benefits or enjoy- 
ments, both which may be agreeable to him in themselves considered, and so 
both may be what he values on their own account and seeks for their own sake ; 
and yet one may be much more agreeable than the other ; and so be what he 
sets his heart chiefly upon, and seeks most after in his going a journey. Thus 
a man may go a journey partly to obtain the possession and enjoyment of a bride 
that is very dear to him, and partly to gratify his curiosity in looking in a teles- 
cope, or some new invented and extraordinary optic glass : both may be ends 
he seeks in his journey, and the one not properly subordinate or in order to an- 
other. One may not depend on another, and therefore both may be ultimate 
ends ; but yet the obtaining his beloved bride may be his chief end, and the 
benefit of the optic glass, his inferior end. The former may be what he sets his 
heart vastly most upon, and so be properly the chief end of his journey. 

2. An ultimate end is not always the chief end, because some subordinate 
ends may be more valued and sought after than some ultimate ends. Thus for 


instance, a man may aim at these two things in his going a journey ; one may 
be to visit his friends, and another to receive a great estate, or a large sum of 
money that lies ready for him at the place to which he is going. The latter, 
viz., his receiving the sum of money, may be but a subordinate end : he may not 
value the silver and gold on their own account, but only for the pleasure, grati- 
fication, and honor ; that is the ultimate end, and not the money, which is valued 
only as a means of the other. But yet the obtaining the money, may be 
what is more valued, and so a higher end of his journey, than the pleasure of 
seeing his friends ; though the latter is what is valued on its own account, and 
to is an ultimate end. 

But here several things may be noted : 

First. That when it is said, that some subordinate ends may be more valued 
th?n some ultimate ends, it is not supposed that ever a subordinate end is more 
valued than that ultimate end or ends to which it is subordinate ; because a sub- 
ordinate end has no value, but what it derives from its ultimate end : for that 
reason it is called a subordinate end, because it is valued and sought, not for its 
own sake, or its own value, but only in subordination to a further end, or for the 
sake of the ultimate end, that it is in order to. But yet a subordinate end may 
be valued more than some other ultimate end that it is not subordinate to, but 
is independent of it, and does not belong to that series, or chain of ends. Thus 
for instance : if a man goes a journey to receive a sum of money, not at all as 
an ultimate end, or because he has any value for the silver and gold for their own 
sake, but only for the value of the pleasure and honor that the money may be a 
means of. In this case it is impossible that the subordinate end, viz., his having 
the money, should be more valued by him than the pleasure and honor for which 
he values it. It would be absurd to suppose that he values the means more than 
the end, when he has no value for the means but for the sake of the end, of which 
it is the means : but yet he may value the money, though but a subordinate end, 
more than some other ultimate end, to which it is not subordinate, and with 
which it has no connection. For instance, more than the comfort of a friendly 
visit ; which was one end of his journey. 

Secondly. Not only is a subordinate end never superior to that ultimate end, 
to which it is subordinate; but the ultimate end is always (not only equal but) 
superior to its subordinate end, and more valued by the agent ; unless it be 
when the ultimate end entirely depends on the subordinate : so that he has no 
other means by which to obtain his last end, and also is looked upon as certain- 
ly connected with it — then the subordinate end may be as much valued as the 
last end ; because the last end, in such a case, does altogether depend upon, 
and is wholly and certainly conveyed by it. As for instance, if a pregnant 
woman has a peculiar appetite to a certain rare fruit that is to be found only in 
the garden of a particular friend of hers, at a distance ; and she goes a journey 
to go to her friend's house or garden, to obtain that fruit — the ultimate end of 
her journey, is to gratify that strong appetite : the obtaining that fruit, is the 
subordinate end of it. If she looks upon it, that the appetite can be gratified 
by no other means than the obtaining that fruit ; and that it will certainly be 
gratified if she obtains it, then she will value the fruit as much as she values the 
gratification of her appetite. But otherwise, it will not be so : if she be doubt- 
ful whether that fruit will satisfy her craving, then she will not value it equally 
with the gratification of her appetite itself ; or if there be some other fruit that 
she knows of, that will gratify her desire, at least in part ; which she can ob- 
tain without such inconvenience or trouble as shall countervail the gratification ; 
which is in effect frustrating her of her last end, because her last end is the 


pleasure of gratifying her appetite, without any trouble that shall countervail, and 
in effect destroy it Or if it be so, that her appetite cannot be gratified without this 
fruit, nor yet with it alone, without something else to be compounded with it- 
then her value for her last end will be divided between these several ingredient* 
as so many subordinate, and no one alone will be equally valued with the last end 

Hence it rarely happens among mankind, that a subordinate end is equally 
valued with its last end ; because the obtaining of a last end rarely depends on 
one single uncompounded means, and is infallibly connected with that means : 
therefore, men's last ends are commonly their highest ends. 

Thirdly. If any being has but one ultimate end, in all that he does, and 
there be a great variety of operations, his last end may justly be looked upon as 
his supreme end : for in such a case, every other end but that one, is an end to 
that end ; and therefore no other end can be superior to it. Because, as was 
observed before, a subordinate end is never more valued, than the end to which 
it is subordinate. 

Moreover, the subordinate effects, events, or things brought to pass, which 
iJl are means of this end, all uniting to contribute their share towards the ob- 
taining the one last end, are very various ; and therefore, by what has been 
now observed, the ultimate end of all must be valued, more than any one of the 
particular means. This seems to be the case with the works of God, as may 
more fully appear in the sequel. 

From what has been said, to explain what is intended by an ultimate end, the 
following things may be observed concerning ultimate ends in the sense explained. 

Fourthly. Whatsoever any agent has in view in any thing he does, which 
he loves, or which is an immediate gratification of any appetite or inclination 
of nature ; and is agreeable to him in itself, and not merely for the sake of 
something else, is regarded by that agent as his last end. The same may be 
said, of avoiding of that which is in itself painful or disagreeable : for the avoid- 
ing of what is disagreeable is agreeable. This will be evident to any bearing 
in mind the meaning of the terms. By last end being meant, that which is 
regarded and sought by an agent, as agreeable or desirable for its own sake; 
* subordinate that which is sought only for the sake of something else. 

Fifthly. From hence it will follow, that if an agent in his works has in view 
more things than one that will be brought to pass by what he does, that are 
agreeable to him, considered in themselves, or what he loves and delights in on 
their own account — then he must have more things than one that he regards as 
his last ends in what he does. But if there be but one thing that an agent seeks, 
as the consequence of what he does that is agreeable to him, on its own account, 
then there can be but one last end which he has in all his actions and operations. 

But only here a distinction must be observed of things which may be 
said to be agreeable to an agent, in themselves considered, in two senses. (1.) 
What is in itself grateful to an agent, and valued and loved on its own account, 
simply and absolutely considered, and is so universally and originally, antece- 
dent to, and independent of all conditions, or any supposition of particular cases 
and circumstances. And (2.) What may be said to be in itself agreeable to 
an agent, hypothetically and consequentially : or, on supposition or condition 
of such and such circumstances, or on the happening of such a particular case. 
Thus, for instance : a man may originally love society. An inclination to so- 
ciety may be implanted in his very nature : and society may be agreeable to 
him antecedent to all presupposed cases and circumstances : and this may cause 
him to seek a family. And the comfort of society may be originally his last 
end, in seeking a family. But after he has a family, peace, good order and 


mutual justice and friendship in his family, may be agreeable to him, and what 
he delights in for their sake ; and therefore these things may be his last end in 
many things he does in the government and regulation of his family. But they 
were not his original end with respect to his family. The justice and peace of 
a family, was not properly his last end before he had a family, that induced 
him to seek a family, but consequentially. Arid the case being pat of his hav- 
ing a family, then these things wherein the good order and beauty of a family 
consist, become his last end in many things he does in such circumstances. In 
like manner we must suppose that God, before he created the world, had some 
good in view, as a consequence of the world's existence, that was originally 
agreeable to him in itself considered, that inclined him to create the world, or 
bring the universe, with various intelligent creatures, into existence in such a 
manner as he created it. But after the world was created, and such and such 
intelligent creatures actually had existence, in such and such circumstances, 
then a wise, just regulation of them was agreeable to God, in itself considered. 
And God's love of justice, and hatred of injustice, would be sufficient in such a 
case to induce God to deal justly with his creatures, and to prevent all injustice 
in him towards them. But yet there is no necessity of supposing, that God's 
love of doing justly to intelligent beings, and hatred of the contrary, was what 
originally induced God to create the world, and make intelligent beings ; and 
so to order the occasion of doing either justly or unjustly. The justice of God's 
nature makes a just regulation agreeable, and the contrary disagreeable, as there 
is occasion, the subject being supposed, and the occasion given : but we must 
suppose something else that should incline him to create the subjects or order 
the occasion. 

So that perfection of God which we call his faithfulness, or his inclination 
to fulfil his promises to his creatures, could not properly be what moved him to 
create the world ; nor could such a fulfilment of his promises to his creatures, 
be his last end, in giving the creatures being. But yet after the world is crea- 
ted, after intelligent creatures are made, and God has bound himself by promise 
to them, then that disposition which is called his faithfulness may move him in his 
providential disposals towards them : and this may be the end of many of God's 
works of providence, even the exercise of his faithfulness in fulfilling his promises; 
and may be in the lower sense his last end. Because faithfulness and truth must be 
supposed to be "what is in itself amiable to God, and what he delights in for 
its own sake. Thus God may have ends of particular works of providence, 
which are ultimate ends in a lower sense, which were not ultimate ends of the 

So that here we have two sorts of ultimate ends ; one of which may be 
called an original, and independent ultimate end ; the other consequential and 
dependent. For it is evident, the latter sort are truly of the nature of ultimate 
ends : because, though their being agreeable to the agent, or the agent's desire 
of them, be consequential on the existence, or supposition of proper subjects and 
occasion ; yet the subject and occasion being supposed, they are agreeable and 
amiable in themselves. We may suppose, that to a righteous being, the doing 
justice between two parties, with whom he is concerned, is agreeable in itself, 
and is loved for its own sake, and not merely for the sake of some other end : 
and yet we may suppose, that a desire of doing justice between two parties, may 
be consequential on the being of those parties, and the occasion given. 

Therefore, I make a distinction between an end that in this manner is con- 
sequential, and a subordinate end. 

It may be observed, that when I speak of God's ultimate end in the creation 


of the world, in the following discourse, I commonly mean in that highest sense, 
viz., the original ultimate end. 

Sixthly. It may be further observed, that the original ultimate end or ends 
of the creation of the world is alone that which induces God to give the occa- 
sion for consequential ends, by the first creation of the world, and the original 
disposal of it. And the more original the end is, the more extensive and univer- 
sal it is. That which God had primarily in view in creating, and the original 
ordination of the world, must be constantly kept in view, and have a governing 
influence in all God's works, or with respect to every thing that he does towards 
his creatures. And therefore, 

Seventhly. If we use the phrase ultimate end in this highest sense, then the 
same that is God's ultimate end in creating the world, if we suppose but one 
such end, must be what he makes his ultimate aim in all his works, in every 
thing he does either in creation or providence. But we must suppose that in the 
use, which God puts the creatures to that he hath made, he must evermore have 
a regard to the end, for which he has made them. But if we take ultimate end 
in the other lower sense, God may sometimes have regard to those things as ulti- 
mate ends, in particular works of providence, which could not in any proper 
sense be his last end in creating the world. 

Eighthly. On the other hand, whatever appears to be God's ultimate end in 
any sense, of his works of providence in general, that must be the ultimate end 
of the work of creation itself. For though it be so that God may act for an end, 
that is an ultimate end in a lower sense, in some of his works of providence, 
which is not the ultimate end of the creation of the world ; yet this doth not 
take place with regard to the works of providence in general. But we may 
justly look upon whatsoever has the nature of an ultimate end of God's works of 
providence in general, that the same is also an ultimate end of the creation of the 
world ; for God's works of providence in general, are the same with the general 
use that he puts the world to that he has made. And we may well argue from 
what we see of the general use which God makes of the world, to the general 
end for which he designed the world. Though there may be some things that 
are ends of particular works of providence, that were not the last end of the 
creation, which are in themselves grateful to God in such particular emergent 
cirumstances ; and so are last ends in an inferior sense ; yet this is only in cer- 
tain cases, or particular occasions. But if they are last ends of God's proceed- 
ings in the use of the world in general, this shows that his making them last 
ends does not depend on particular cases and circumstances, but the nature of 
things in general, and his general design in the being and constitution of the 

Ninthly. If there be but one thing that is originally, and independent on any 
future supposed cases, agreeable to God, to be obtained by the creation of the 
world, then there can be but one last end of God's work, in this highest sense : 
but if there are various things, properly diverse one from another, that are, ab- 
solutely and independently on the supposition of any future given cases, agreeable 
to the divine Being, which are actually obtained by the creation of the world, 
then there were several ultimate ends of the creation, in that highest sense 





Having observed these things, which are proper to be taken notice of, to prevent con- 
fusion in discourses on this subject, 1 now proceed to consider what may, and whai 
may not be supposed to be God's ultimate end in the creation of the world. 

And in the first place, I would observe some things which reason seems to 
dictate in this matter. Indeed, this affair seems properly to be an affair of 
divine revelation. In order to be determined what was aimed at, or designed in 
the creating of the astonishing fabric of the universe which we behold, it becomes 
us to attend to and rely on what he has told us, who was the architect that built 
it. He best knows his own heart, and what his own ends and designs were in 
the wonderful works which he has wrought. Nor is it to be supposed that man- 
kind, who, while destitute of revelation, by the utmost improvements of their 
own reason, and advances in science and philosophy, could come to no clear and 
established determination who the author of the world was, would ever have 
obtained any tolerable settled judgment of the end which the author of it pro- 
posed to himself in so vast, complicated and wonderful a work of his hands. And 
though it be true, that the revelation which God has given to men, which has 
been in the world as a light shining in a dark place, has been the occasion of 
great improvement of their faculties, has taught men how to use their reason : 
(in which regard, notwithstanding the nobleness and excellency of the faculties 
which God had given them, they seemed to be in themselves almost helpless :) 
and though mankind now, through the long, continual assistance they have had 
by this divine light, have come to attainments in the habitual exercise of reason, 
which are far beyond what otherwise they would have arrived to ; yet I confess 
it would be relying too much on reason, to determine the affair of God's last end 
in the creation of the world, only by our own reason, or without being herein 
principally guided by divine revelation, since God has given a revelation contain- 
ing instructions concerning this matter. Nevertheless, as in the disputes and 
wranglings which have been about this matter, those objections, which have 
chiefly been made use of against what I think the Scriptures have truly revealed, 
have been from the pretended^ dictates of reason — I would in the first place 
soberly consider in a few things, what seems rational to be supposed concern- 
ing this affair ; and then proceed to consider what light divine revelation givea 
us in it. 


As to the first of these, viz., what seems in itself rational to be supposed con- 
cerning this matter, I think the following things appear to be the dictates oi 
reason : 

1. That no notion of God's last end in the creation of the world is agreea- 
ble to reason, which would truly imply or infer any indigence, insufficiency and 
mutability in God ; or any dependence of the Creator on the creature, for any 
part of his perfection or happiness. Because it is evident, by both Scripture and 
reason, that God is infinitely, eternally, unchangeably, and independently glorious 
and happy ; that he stands in no need of, cannot be profited by, or receive any 
thing from the creature ; or be truly hurt, or be the subject of any sufferings, or im- 
pair of his glory and felicity from any other being. I need not stand to produce 
the proofs of God's being such a one, it being so universally allowed and main- 
tained by such as call themselves Christians. The notion of God's creating the 
world in order to receive any thing properly from the creature, is not only con- 
trary to the nature of God, but inconsistent with the notion of creation j which 
implies a being's receiving its existence, and all that belongs to its being, out 
of nothing. And this implies the most perfect, absolute, and universal deriva- 
tion and dependence. Now, if the creature receives its all from God entirely 
and perfectly, how is it possible that it should have any thing to add to God, to 
make him in any respect more than he was before, and so the Creator become 
dependent on the creature ? 

2. Whatsoever is good and valuable in itself, is worthy that God should 
value for itself, and on its own account ; or which is the same thing, value it 
with an ultimate value or respect. It is therefore worthy to be ultimately 
sought by God, or made the last end of his action and operation, if it be a thing 
of such a nature as to be properly capable of being attained in any divine opera- 
tion. For it may be supposed that some things, which are valuable and excel- 
lent in themselves, are not properly capable of being attained in any divine ope- 
ration ; because they do not remain to be attained ; but their existence in all 
possible respects, must be conceived of prior to any divine operation. Thus 
God's existence and infinite perfection, though infinitely valuable in themselves, 
and infinitely valued by God, yet cannot be supposed to be the end of any 
divine operation. For we cannot conceive of them as in any respect conse- 
quent on any works of God : but whatever is in itself valuable, absolutely so, 
and that is capable of being sought and attained, is worthy to be made a last 
end of the divine operation. Therefore. 

3. Whatever that be which is in itself most valuable, and was so originally, 
prior to the creation of the world, and which is attainable by the creation, if 
there be any thing which was superior in value to all others, that must be 
worthy to be God's last end in the creation ; and also worthy to be his highest 
end. In consequence of this, it will follow, 

4. That if God himself be in any respect properly capable of being his own 
end in the creation of the world, then it is reasonable to suppose that he had 
respect to himself as his last and highest end in this work ; because he is worthy 
in himself to be so, being infinitely the greatest and best of beings. All things 
else, with regard to worthiness, importance and excellence, are perfectly as 
nothing in comparison of him. And, therefore, if God esteems, values, and has 
respect to things according to their nature and proportions, he must necessarily 
have the greatest respect to himself. It would be against the perfection of his 
nature, his wisdom, holiness, and perfect rectitude, whereby he is disposed to do 
ever}- thing that is fit to be done, to suppose otherwise. At least a great part 
of the moral rectitude of the heart of God, whereby he is disposed to every thing 


that is fit, suitable and amiable in itself, consists in his having infinitely the 
highest regard to that which is in itself infinitely highest and best : yea, it is in 
this that it seems chiefly to consist. The moral rectitude of God's heart must 
consist in a proper and due respect of his heart to things that are objects of 
moral respect ; that is, to intelligent beings capable of moral actions and rela- 
tions. And therefore it must chiefly consist in giving due respect to that Being 
to whom most is due; yea, infinitely most, and in effect all. For God is 
infinitely the most worthy of regard. The worthiness of others is as nothing to 
his : so that to him belongs all possible respect. To him belongs the whole of 
the respect that any moral agent, either God, or any intelligent being is capable 
of. To him belongs all the heart. Therefore, if moral rectitude of heart con- 
sists in paying the respect or regard of the heart which is due, or which fitness 
and suitableness requires, fitness requires infinitely the greatest regard to be.paid 
to God ; and the denying supreme regard here, would be a conduct infinitely 
the most unfit. Therefore a proper regard to this Being, is what the fitness of 
regard does infinitely most consist in. Hence it will follow — That the moral 
rectitude and fitness of the disposition, inclination or affection of God's heart, 
does chiefly consist in a respect or regard to himself infinitely above his regard 
to all other beings : or, in other words, his holiness consists in this. 

And if it be thus fit that God should have a supreme regard to himself, then 
it is fit that this supreme regard should appear, in those things by which he 
makes himself known, or by his word and works ; i. e., in what he says, and in 
what he does. If it be an infinitely amiable thing in God, that he should have 
a supreme regard to himself, then it is an amiable thing that he should act as 
having a chief regard to himself; or act in such a manner, as to show that he 
has such a regard ; that what is highest in God's heart, may be highest in his 
actions and conduct. And if it was God's intention, as there is great reason to 
think it was, that his works should exhibit an image of himself their author, 
that it might brightly appear by his works what manner of being he is, and 
afford a proper representation of his divine excellencies, and especially his 
moral excellence, consisting in the disposition of his heart; then it is reason- 
able to suppose that his works are so wrought as to show this supreme respect 
to himself, wherein his moral excellency does primarily consist. 

When we are considering with ourselves, what would be most fit and pro- 
per for God to have a chief respect to, in his proceedings in general, with 
regard to the universality of things, it may help us to judge of the matter with 
the greater ease and satisfaction to consider, what we can suppose would be 
judged and determined by some third being of perfect wisdom and rectitude, 
neither the Creator nor one of the creatures, that should be perfectly indifferent 
and disinterested. Or if we make the supposition, that wisdom itself, or infinitely 
wise justice and rectitude were a distinct, disinterested person, whose office it 
was to determine how things shall be most fitly and properly ordered in the 
whole system, or kingdom of existence, including king and subjects, God and 
his creatures ; and upon a view of the whole, to decide what regard should 
prevail and govern in all proceedings. Now such a judge, in adjusting the 
proper measures and kinds of regard that every part of existence is to have, 
would weigh things in an even balance ; taking care, that greater, or more ex- 
istence should have a greater share than less, that a greater part of the whole 
should be more looked at and respected than the lesser, in proportion (other 
things being equal) to the measure of existence, that the more excellent should 
be more regarded than the less excellent : so that the degree of regard should 
always be in a proportion, compounded of the proportion of existence, and pro- 

Vol. II. 26 


portion of excellence, or according to the degree of greatness and goodness, 
considered conjunctly. Such an arbiter, iff considering the system of created 
intelligent beings by itself, would determine that the system in general, consist- 
ing of many millions, was of greater importance, and worthy of a greater share 
of regard, than only one individual. For however considerable some of the 
individuals might be, so that they might be much greater and better and have a 
greater share of the sum total of existence and excellence than another indivi- 
dual, yet no one exceeds others so much as to countervail ail the rest of the 
system. And if this judge consider not only the system of created beings, but 
the system of being in general, comprehending the sum total of universal exist- 
ence, both Creator and creature ; still every part must be considered according 
to its weight and importance, or the measure it has of existence and excellence. 
To determine then, what proportion of regard is to be allotted to the Creator, 
and all his creatures taken together, both must be as it were put in the balance ; 
the Supreme Being, with all in him that is great, considerable and excellent, 
is to be estimated and compared with all that is to be found in the whole crea- 
tion ; and according as the former is found to outweigh, in such proportion is 
he to have a greater share of regard. And in this case, as the whole system of 
created beings in comparison of the Creator, would be found as the light dust of 
the balance (which is taken no notice of by him that weighs), and as nothing 
and vanity ; so the arbiter must determine accordingly with respect to the 
degree in which God should be regarded by all intelligent existence, and the 
degree in which he should be regarded in all that is done through the whole 
universal system ; in all actions and proceedings, determinations and effects 
whatever, whether creating, preserving, using, disposing, changing, or destroy- 
ing. And as the Creator is infinite, and has all possible existence, perfection 
and excellence, so he must have all possible regard. As he is every way the 
first and supreme, and as his excellency is in all respects the supreme beauty and 
glory, the original good, and fountain of all good ; so he must have in all 
respects the supreme regard. And as he is God over all, to whom all are pro- 
perly subordinate, and on whom all depend, worthy to reign as supreme head 
with absolute and universal dominion ; so it is fit that he should be so regarded 
by all and in all proceedings and effects through the whole system : that this 
universality of things in their whole compass and series should look to him, and 
respect him in such a manner as that respect to him should reign over all respect 
to other things, and that regard to creatures should universally be subordinate 
and subject 

When I speak of regard to be thus adjusted in the universal system, or sum 
total of existence, I mean the regard of the sum total ; not only the regard of 
individual creatures, or all creatures, but of all intelligent existence, created, and 
uncreated. For it is fit that the regard of the Creator should be proportioned to 
the worthiness of objects, as well as the regard of creatures. Thus we must 
conclude such an arbiter, as I have supposed, would determine in this business, 
being about to decide how matters should proceed most fitly, properly, and 
according to the nature of things. He would therefore determine that the whole 
universe, including all creatures, animate and inanimate, in all its actings, pro- 
ceedings, revolutions, and entire series of events, should proceed from a regard 
and with a view, to God, as the supreme and last end of all : that every wheel, 
both great and small, in all its rotations, should move with a constant, invaria- 
ble regard to him as the ultimate end of all ; as perfectly and uniformly, as if 
the whole system were animated and directed by one common soul ; or, as if 
such an ar^ter as I have before supposed, one possessed of perfect wisdom and 


rectitude, became the common soul of the universe, and actuated and governed 
it in all its motions. 

Thus I have gone upon the supposition of a third person, neither creator nor 
creature, but a disinterested person stepping in to judge of the concerns of both, 
and state what is most fit and proper between them. The thing supposed is 
impossible ; but the case is nevertheless just the same as to what is most fit and 
suitable in itself. For it is most certainly proper for God to act, according to 
the greatest fitness, in his proceedings, and he knows what the greatest fitness 
is, as much as if perfect rectitude were a distinct person to direct him. As 
therefore there is no third being, beside God and the created system, nor can 
be, so there is no need of any, seeing God himself is possessed of that perfect 
discernment and rectitude which have been supposed. It belongs to him as 
supreme arbiter, and to his infinite wisdom and rectitude, to state all rules and 
measures of proceedings. And seeing these attributes of God are infinite, 
and most absolutely perfect, they are not the less fit to order and dispose be- 
cause they are in him, who is a being concerned, and not a third person that 
is disinterested. For being interested unfits a person to be arbiter or judge, 
no otherwise than as interested tends to blind and mislead his judgment, or in- 
cline him to act contrary to it. But that God should be in danger of either, is 
contrary to the supposition of his being possessed of discerning and justice 
absolutely perfect. And as there must be some supreme judge of fitness and 
propriety in the universality of things, as otherwise there could be no order nor 
regularity, it therefore belongs to God whose are all things, who is perfectly fit 
for this office, and who alone is so to state all things, according to the most 
perfect fitness and rectitude, as much as if perfect rectitude were a distinct per- 
son. We may therefore be sure it is and will be done. 

I should think that these things might incline us to suppose that God has 
not forgot himself, in the ends which he proposed in the creation of the world ; 
but that he has so stated these ends (however he is self-sufficient, immutable, 
and independent) as therein plainly to show a supreme regard to himself. 
Whether this can be, or whether God has done thus, must be considered after- 
wards, as also what may be objected against this view of things. 

5. Whatsoever is good, amiable and valuable in itself, absolutely and origi- 
nally, which facts and events show that God aimed at in the creation of the 
world, must be supposed to be regarded, or aimed at by God ultimately, or as 
an ultimate end of creation. For we must suppose from the perfection of God's 
nature, that whatsoever is valuable and amiable in itself, simply and absolutely 
considered, God values simply for itself ; it is agreeable to him absolutely on 
ts own account, because God's judgment and esteem are according to truth. 
He values and loves things, accordingly, as they are worthy to be valued and 
loved. But if God values a thing simply, and absolutely, for itself, and on its 
own account, then it is the ultimate object of his value ; he does not value it 
merely for the sake of a farther end to be attained by it. For to suppose that 
he values it only for some farther end, is in direct contradiction to the present 
supposition, which is, that he values it absolutely, and for itself. Hence it most 
clearly follows, that if that which God values ultimately and for itself, appears 
in fact and experience, to be what he seeks by any thing he does, he must re- 
gard it as an ultimate end. And therefore if he seeks it in creating the world, 
or any part of the world, it is an ultimate end of the work of creation. Having 
got thus far, we may now proceed a step further, and assert, 

6. Whatsoever thing is actually the effect or consequence of the creation 
of the world, which is simply and absolutely good and valuable in itself, that 


thing is an ultimate end of God's creating the world. We see that it is a good 
that God aimed at by the creation of the world ; because he has actually at- 
tained it by that means. This is an evidence that he intended to attain, or 
aimed at it. For we may justly infer what God, intends, by what he actually 
does ; because he does nothing inadvertently, or without design. But whatever 
God intends to attain from a value for it ; or in other words, whatever he aims 
at in his actions and works, that he values ; he seeks that thing in those acts and 
works. Because, for an agent to intend to attain something he values by means 
he uses, is the same thing as to seek it by those means. And this is the same 
as to make that thing his end in those means. Now it being by the supposition 
what God values ultimately, it must, therefore, by the preceding position, be 
aimed at by God as an ultimate end of creating the world. 


Some farther observations concerning those things which reason leads us to suppose 
God aimed at in the creation of the world, showing particularly what things that 
are absolutely good, are actually the consequence of the creation of the world. 

From what was last observed it seems to be the most proper and just way 
of proceeding, as we would see what light reason will give us respecting the 
particular end or ends God had ultimately in view in the creation of the world ; 
to consider what thing or things, are actually the effect or consequence of the 
creation of the world, that are simply and originally valuable in themselves. 
And this is what I would directly proceed to, without entering' on any tedious 
metaphysical inquiries wherein fitness, amiableness, or valuableness consists ; or 
what that is in the nature of some things, which is properly the foundation of a 
worthiness of being loved and esteemed on their own account. In this I must 
at present refer what I say to the sense and dictates of the reader's mind, on se- 
date and calm reflection. I proceed to observe, 

1. It seems a thing in itself fit, proper and desirable, that the glorious attri- 
butes of God, which consist in a sufficiency to certain acts and effects, should 
be exerted in the production of such effects, as might manifest the infinite power, 
wisdom, righteousness, goodness, &c, which are in God. If the world had not 
been created, these attributes never would have had any exercise. The power 
of God, which is a sufficiency in him to produce great effects, must for ever 
have been dormant and useless as to any effect. The divine wisdom and pru- 
dence would have had no exercise in any wise contrivance, any prudent proceed- 
ing or disposal of things ; for there would have been no objects of contrivance 
or disposal. The same might be observed of God's justice, goodness and truth. 
Indeed God might have known as perfectly that he possessed these attributes, 
if they had never been exerted or expressed in any effect. But then if the attri- 
butes which consist in a sufficiency for correspondent effects, are in themselves 
excellent, the exercise of them must likewise be excellent. If it be an ex- 
cellent thing that there should be a sufficiency for a certain kind of action or 
operation, the excellency of such a sufficiency must consist in its relation to this 
kind of operation or effect ; but that could not be, unless the operation itself 
were excellent. A sufficiency for any act or work is no farther valuable, than 
the work or effect is valuable.* As God therefore esteems these attributes 

* As we must coiiCeive of things, the end and perfection of these attributes does as it were consist 
Ji their exercise : " The end of wisdom (says Mr. G. Tennent, in his Sermon at the opening of the Pre?- 


themselves valuable, and delights in them ; so it is natural to suppose that he 
delights in their proper exercise and expression. For the same reason that he 
esteems his own sufficiency wisely to contrive and dispose effects, he also will 
esteem the wise contrivance and disposition itself. And for the same reason, as he 
delights in his own disposition to do justly, and to dispose of things according to 
truth and just proportion ; so he must delight in such a righteous disposal itself. 

2. It seems to be a thing in itself fit and desirable, that the glorious perfections 
of God should be known, and the operations and expressions of them seen by 
other beings besides himself. If it be fit, that God's power and wisdom, &c, 
should be exercised and expressed in some effects, and not lie eternally dormant, 
then it seems proper that these exercises should appear, and not be totally hid- 
den and unknown. For if they are, it will be just the same as to the above 
purpose, as if they were not. God as^perfectly knew himself and his perfec- 
tions, had as perfect an idea of the exercises and effects they were sufficient for, 
antecedently to any such actual operations of them, as since. If therefore it be 
nevertheless a thing in itself valuable, and worthy to be desired, that these glo- 
rious perfections be actually expressed and exhibited in their correspondent 
effects ; then it seems also, that the knowledge of these perfections, and the ex- 
pressions and discoveries that are made of them, is a thing valuable in itself ab- 
solutely considered ; and that it is desirable that this knowledge should exist. 
As God's perfections are things in themselves excellent, so the expression of 
them in their proper acts and fruits is excellent ; and the knowledge of these 
excellent perfections, and of these glorious expressions of them, is an excellent 
thing, the existence of which is in itself valuable and desirable. It is a thing 
infinitely good in itself that God's glory should be known by a glorious society 
of created beings. And that there should be in them an increasing knowledge 
of God to all eternity, is an existence, a reality infinitely worthy to be, and 
worthy to be valued and regarded by him, to whom it belongs to order that to 
be, which, of all things possible, is fittest and best. If existence is more worthy 
than defect and nonentity, and if any created existence is in itself worthy to be, 
then knowledge or understanding is a thing worthy to be ; and if any know- 
ledge, then the most excellent sort of knowledge, viz., that of God and his glo- 
ry. The existence of the created universe consists as much in it as in any 
thing : yea, this knowledge is one of the highest, most real and substantial 
parts of all created existence, most remote from nonentity and defect. 

S. As it is a thing valuable and desirable in itself that God's glory should be 
seeu and known, so when known, it seems equally reasonable and fit, it should 
be valued and esteemed, loved and delighted in, answerably to its dignity. 
There is no more reason to esteem it a fit and suitable thing that God's glory 
should be known,, or that there should be an idea in the understanding corres- 
ponding unto the glorious object, than that there should be a corresponding dis- 
position or affection in the will. If the perfection itself be excellent, the know- 
ledge of it is excellent, and so is the esteem and love of it excellent. *And as 
it is fit that God should love and esteem his own excellence, it is also fit that 
he should value and esteem the love of his excellency. For if it becomes any 
being greatly to value another, then it becomes him to love to have him valued 
and esteemed : and if it becomes a being highly to value himself, it is fit that 
he should love to have himself valued and esteemed. If the idea of God's per- 

byte< i rj t J arch of Philadelphia) is design ; the end of power is action ; the end of goodness is doing gooH, 
To svjT,csr! these perfections not to be exerted, would be to represent them as insignificant. Of what 
use would God's wisdom be, if it had nothing to design or direct? To what purpose his almightiness. 
if it never brought any thing to pass ? And of what avail his goodness, if it never did any good V 


fection in the understanding be valuable, then the love of the heart seems to be 
more especially valuable, as moral beauty especially consists in the disposition 
and affection of the heart. 

4. As there is an infinite fulness of all possible good in God, a fulness ol 
every perfection, of all excellency and beauty, and of infinite happiness ; ant 
as this fulness is capable of communication or emanation ad extra ; so it seem* 
a thing amiable and valuable in itself that it should be communicated or flow 
forth, that this infinite fountain of good should send forth abundant streams 
that this infinite fountain of light should, diffusing its excellent fulness, pour 
forth light all around — and as this is in itself excellent, so a disposition to this, 
in the Divine Being, must be looked upon as a perfection or an excellent dispo- 
sition, such an emanation of good is, in some sense, a multiplication of it ; so 
far as the communication or external stream may be looked upon as any thing 
oesides the fountain, so far it may be looked on as an increase of good. 
And if the fulness of good that is in the fountain, is in itself excellent and wor- 
thy to exist, then the emanation, or that which is as it were an increase, repe- 
tition or multiplication of it, is excellent and worthy to exist. Thus it is fit, 
since there is an infinite fountain of light and knowledge, that this light should 
shine forth in beams of communicated knowledge and understanding ; and as 
there is an infinite fountain of holiness, moral excellence and beauty, so it should 
flow out in communicated holiness. And that as there is an infinite fulness of 
joy and happiness, so these should have an emanation, and become a fountain 
flowing out in abundant streams, as beams from the sun. 

From this view it appears another way to be a thing in itself valuable, that 
there should be such things as the knowledge of God's glory in other beings, 
and a high esteem of it, love to it, and delight and complacence in it; — this 
appears, I say, in another way, viz., as these things are but the emanations of 
God's own knowledge, holiness and joy. 

Thus it appears reasonable to suppose, that it was what God had respect to 
as an ultimate end of his creating the world, to communicate of his own infinite 
fulness of good ; or rather it was his last end, that there might be a glorious 
and abundant emanation of his infinite fulness of good ad extra, or without him- 
self ; and the disposition to communicate himself, or diffuse his own fulness,* 
which we must conceive of as being originally in God as a perfection of his nature, 
was what moved him to create the world. But here, as much as possible to 
avoid confusion, I observe, that there is some impropriety in saying that a 
disposition in God to communicate himself to the creature, moved him to create 
the world. For though the diffusive disposition in the nature of God, that 
moved him to create the world, doubtless inclines him to communicate himself 
to the creature, when the creature exists; yet this cannot be all: because an incli- 
nation in God to communicate himself to an object, seems to presuppose the 
existence of the object, at least in idea. But the diffusive disposition that 
excited God to give creatures existence, was rather a communicative disposi- 
tion in general, or a disposition in, the fulness of the divinity to flow out 
and diffuse itself. Thus the disposition there is in the root and stock of a 
tree to diffuse and send forth its sap and life, is doubtless the reason of the 
communication of its sap and life to its buds, leaves and fruits, after these 
exist. But a disposition to communicate of its life and sap to its fruits, is not so 

* I shall often use the phrase God's fulness, as signifying and comprehending all the good which is in 
God natural and moral, either excellence or happiness ; partly because I know of no better phrase to be 
used in this general meaning; and partly because I am led here to by some of the inspired writers, partic- 
ularly the apostle Paul, who often uses the phrase in this sense. 


properly the cause of its producing those fruits, as its disposition to communi- 
cate itself, or diffuse its sap and life in general. Therefore, to speak more 
strictly according to truth, we may suppose, that a disposition in God, as an 
original property of his nature, to an emanation of his own infinite fulness , was 
what excited him to create the world; and so that the emanation itself was aimed 
at by him as a last end of the creation. 


Wherein it is considered how, on the supposition of God°s making the forementioned 
things his last end, he manifests a supreme and ultimate regard to himself in all his 

In the last section I observed some things, which are actually the conse- 
quence of the creation of the world, which seem absolutely valuable in them- 
selves, and so worthy to be made God's last end in this work. I now proceed 
to inquire, how God's making such things as these his last end is consistent 
with his making himself his last end, or his manifesting an ultimate respect to 
himself in his acts and works. Because this is a thing I have observed as 
agreeable to the dictates of reason, that in all his proceedings he should set 
himself highest — therefore I would endeavor to show with respect to each of 
the forementioned things, that God, in making them his end, makes himself 
his end, so as in all to show a supreme and ultimate respect to himself; and 
how his infinite love to himself and delight in himself, will naturally cause him 
to value and delight in these things : or rather, how a value to these things is 
implied in his love to himself, or value of that infinite fulness of good that is in 

Now with regard to the first of the particulars mentioned above, viz., God's 
regard to the exercise and expression of those attributes of his nature, in their 
proper operations and effects, which consist in a sufficiency for these operations, 
it is not hard to conceive that God's regard to himself, and value for his own 
perfections, should cause him to value these exercises and expressions of his 
perfections ; and that a love to them will dispose him to love their exhibition 
and exertment : inasmuch as their excellency consists in their relation to use, 
exercise and operation ; as the excellency of wisdom consists in its relation to, 
and sufficiency for, wise designs and effects. God's love to himself, and his 
own attributes, will therefore make him delight in that, which is the use, end 
and operation of these attributes. If one highly esteem and delight in the vir- 
tues of a friend, as wisdom, justice, &c, that have relation to action, this will 
make him delight in the exercise and genuine effects of these virtues : so if God 
both esteem, and delight in his own perfections and virtues, he cannot but value 
and delight in the expressions and genuine effects of them. So that in delight- 
ing in the expressions of his perfections, he manifests a delight in his own per- 
fections themselves: or in other words, he manifests a delight in himself; and 
in making these expressions of his own perfections his end, he makes himself 
his end. 

And with respect to the second and third particulars, the matter is no less 
plain. For he that loves any being, and has a disposition highly to prize, and 
greatly to delight in his virtues and perfections, must, from the same disposition, 
be well pleased to have his excellencies known, acknowledged, esteemed and 
prized by others. He that loves and approves any being or thing, he naturally 


loves and approves the love and approbation of that thing, and is opposite to 
the disapprobation and contempt of it. Thus it is when one loves another, and 
highly prizes the virtues of a friend. And thus it is fit it should be, if it be fit 
that the other should be beloved, and his qualification prized. And therefore 
thus it will necessarily be, if a being loves himself and highly prizes his own 
excellencies : and thus it is fit it should be, if it be fit he should thus love him- 
self, and prize his own valuable qualities. That is, it is fit that he should take 
delight in his own excellencies being seen, acknowledged, esteemed, and de- 
lighted in. This is implied in a love to himself and his own perfections. And 
in seeking this, and making this his end, he seeks himself, and makes himself 
his end. 

And with respect to the fourth and last particular, viz., God's being disposed 
to an abundant communication, and glorious emanation of that infinite fulness 
of good which he possesses in himself; as of his own knowledge, excellency, 
and happiness, in the manner which he does ; if we thoroughly and properly 
consider the matter, it will appear, that herein also God makes himself his end, in 
such a sense, as plainly to manifest and testify a supreme and ultimate regard 
to himself. 

Merely in this disposition to diffuse himself, or to cause an emanation of his 
glory and fulness, which is prior to the existence of any other being, and is to 
be considered as the inciting cause of creation, or giving existence to other 
beings, God cannot so properly be said to make the creature his end, as himself 
— for the creature is not as yet considered as existing. This disposition or 
desire in God, must be prior to the existence of the creature, even in intention 
and foresight. For it is a disposition that is the original ground of the existence 
of the creature ; and even of the future intended and foreseen existence of the 
creature. — God's love, or benevolence, as it respects the creature, may be taken 
either in a larger, or stricter sense. In a larger sense it may signify nothing 
diverse from that good disposition in his nature to communicate of his own ful- 
ness in general ; as his knowledge, his holiness, and happiness ; and to give 
creatures existence in order to it. This may be called benevolence or love,, 
because it is the same good disposition that is exercised in love ; it is the very 
fountain from whence love originally proceeds, when taken in the most proper 
sense ; and it has the same general tendency and effect in the creature's well- 
being. — But yet this cannot have any particular present or future created 
existence for its object ; because it is prior to any such object, and the very 
source of the futurition of the existence of it. Nor is it really diverse from God's 
love to himself; as will more clearly appear afterwards. 

But God's love may be taken more strictly, for this general disposition to 
communicate good, as directed to particular objects. Love, in the most strict 
and proper sense, presupposes the existence of the object beloved, at least in 
idea and expectation, and represented to the mind as future. God did not love 
angels in the strictest sense, but in consequence of his intending to create them, 
and so having an idea of future existing angels. Therefore his love to them 
was not properly what excited him to intend to create them. Love or benevo- 
lence strictly taken, presupposes an existing object, as much as pity, a miserable, 
suffering object. 

This propensity in God to diffuse himself, may be considered as a propensity 
to himself diffused ; or to his own glory existing in its emanation. A respect to 
himself, or an infinite propensity to, and delight in his own glory, is that which 
causes him to incline to its being abundantly diffused, and to delight in the em- 
anation of it. Thus that nature in a tree, by which it puts forth buds, shoots 


out branches, and brings forth leaves and fruit, is a disposition that terminates 
in its own complete self. And so the disposition in the sun to shine, or abun- 
dantly to diffuse its fulness, warmth and brightness, is only a tendency to its 
most glorious and complete state. So God looks on the communication of 
himself, and the emanation of the infinite glory and good that are in himself to 
belong to the fulness and completeness of himself ; as though he were not in 
his most complete and glorious state without it. Thus the church of Christ 
(toward whom, and in whom are the emanations of his glory and communica- 
tions of his fulness) is called the fulness of Christ : as though he were not in 
his complete state without her, as Adam was in a defective state without Eve. 
And the church is called the glory of Christ, as the woman is the glory of the 
man, 1 Cor. xi. 7. Isaiah xlvi. 13, " I will place salvation in Zion, for Israel 
my glory." Very remarkable is that place, John xii. 23, 24, " And Jesus 
answered them, saying, The hour is come that the Son of Man should be glori- 
fied. Verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and 
die, it abideth alone ; but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit." He had res- 
pect herein, to the blessed fruits of Christ's death, in the conversion, salvation, 
and eternal happiness and holiness of those that should be redeemed by him. 
This consequence of his death he calls his glory ; and his obtaining, this fruit he 
calls his being glorified ; as the flourishing beautiful produce of a corn of wheat 
sown in the ground is its glory. Without this he is alone as Adam was before 
Eve was created ; but from him by his death proceeds a glorious offspring, in 
which he is communicated, that is, his fulness and glory : as from Adam in his 
deep sleep proceeds the woman, a beautiful companion to fill his emptiness, and 
relieve his solitariness. By Christ's death, his fulness is abundantly diffused in 
many streams ; and expressed in the beauty and glory of a great multitude of 
his spiritual offspring. — Indeed, after the creatures are intended to be created, 
God may be conceived of as being moved by benevolence to these creatures, 
in the strictest sense, in his dealings with, and works about them. His exer- 
cising his goodness, and gratifying his benevolence to them in particular, may 
be the spring of all God's proceedings through the universe, as being now the 
determined way of gratifying his general inclination to diffuse himself. Here 
God's acting for himself, or making himself his last end, and his acting for their 
sake, are not to be set in opposition, or to be considered as the opposite parts of 
a disjunction. They are rather to be considered as coinciding one with the other, 
and implied one in the other. But yet God is to be considered as first and 
original in his regard ; and the creature is the object of God's regard conse- 
quentially, and by implication as it were comprehended in God ; as shall be more 
particularly observed presently. 

But how God's value for and delight in the emanations of his fulness in 
the work of creation, argues his delight in the infinite fulness of good there is 
in himself, and the supreme respect and regard he has for himself; and that in 
making these emanations of himself his end, he does ultimately make himself 
his end in creation, will more clearly appear by considering more particularly 
the nature and circumstances of these communications of God's fulness which 
are made, and which we have reason, either from the nature of things or the 
word of God, to suppose shall be made. 

One part of that divine fulness which is communicated is the divine know- 
ledge. That communicated knowledge which must be supposed to pertain to 
God's last end in creating the world, is the creature's knowledge of him. For 
this is the end of all other knowledge ; and even the faculty of understanding 
would be vain without this. And this knowledge is most properly a communi- 

Vol. II. 27 


cation of God's infinite knowledge, which primarily consists in the knowledge 
of himself. God, in making this his end, makes himself his end. This know- 
ledge in the creature, is but a conformity to God. It is the image of God's own 
knowledge of himself. It is a participation of the same. It is as much the 
same as it is possible for that to be, which is infinitely less in degree : as par- 
ticular beams of the sun communicated, arc the light and glory of the sun 
in part. 

Besides, God's perfections, or his glory, is the object of this knowledge, or 
the thing known ; so that God is glorified in it, as hereby his excellency is seen. 
As therefore God values himself, as he delights in his own knowledge ; he must 
delight in every thing of that nature : as he delights in his own light, he must 
delight in every beam of that light : and as he highly values his own excel- 
lency, he must be well pleased in having it manifested, and so glorified. 

Another thing wherein the emanation of divine fulness that is, and will be 
made in consequence of the creation of the world, is the communication of vir- 
tue and holiness to the creature. This is a communication of God's holiness ; 
so that hereby the creature partakes of God's own moral excellency ; which is 
properly the beauty of the divine nature. And as God delights in his own 
beauty, he must necessarily delight in the creature's holiness ; which is a con- 
formity to, and participation of it, as truly as the brightness of a jewel, held in 
the sun's beams, is a participation or derivation of the sun's brightness, though 
immensely less in degree. — And then it must be considered wherein this holi- 
ness in the creature consists ; viz., in love, which is the comprehension of all 
true virtue ; and primarily in love to God, which is exercised in a high es- 
teem of God, admiration of his perfections, complacency in them, and praise of 
them. All which things are nothing else but the heart's exalting, magnifying, 
or glorifying God ; which, as I showed before, God necessarily approves of, and 
is pleased with, as he loves himself, and values the glory of his own nature. 

Another part of God's fulness which he communicates, is his happiness. 
This happiness consists in enjoying and rejoicing in himself; and so does also 
the creature's happiness. It is, as has been observed of the other, a participa- 
tion of what is in God ; and God and his glory are the objective ground of it. 
The happiness of the creature consists in rejoicing in God ; by which also 
God is magnified and exalted : joy, or the exulting of the heart in God's glory, 
is one thing that belongs to praise — so that God is all in all, with respect to 
each part of that communication of the divine fulness which is made to the 
creature. What is communicated is divine, or something of God J and each 
communication is of that nature, that the creature to whom it is made, is there- 
by conformed to God, and united to him, and that in proportion as the com- 
munication is greater or less. And the communication itself, is no other, in 
the very nature of it, than that wherein the very honor, exaltation and praise ol 
God consists. 

And it is farther to be considered, that the thing which God aimed at in the 
creation of the world, as the end which he had ultimately in view, was that 
-communication of himself, which he intended throughout all eternity. And if 
we attend to the nature and circumstances of this eternal emanation of divine 
good, it will more clearly show how in making this his end, God testifies a su- 
preme respect to himself, and makes himself his end. There are many reasons to 
think that what God has in view, in an increasing communication of himself 
throughout eternity, is an increasing knowledge of God, love to him, and joy in 
him. And it is to be considered that the more those divine communications increase 
in the creature, the more it becomes one with God ; for so much the more is it 


united to God in love, the heart is drawn nearer and nearer to God, and the 
union with him becomes more firm and close, and at the same time the creature 
becomes more and more conformed to God. The image is more and more per- 
fect, and so the good that is in the creature comes forever nearer and nearer to 
an identity with that which is in God. In the view therefore of God, who has 
a comprehensive prospect of the increasing union and conformity through eternity, 
it must be an infinitely strict and perfect nearness, conformity and oneness. For 
it will forever come nearer and nearer to that strictness and perfection of union 
which there is between the Father and the Son ; so that in the eyes of God, who 
perfectly sees the whole of it, in its infinite progress and increase, it must come 
to an eminent fulfilment of Christ's request, in John xvii. 23, " That they all 
may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one 
in us, I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one." In 
this view, those elect creatures which must be looked upon as the end of all the 
rest of the creation, considered with respect to the whole of their eternal dura- 
tion, and as such made God's end, must be viewed as being, as it were, one with 
God. They were respected as brought home to him, united with him, center- 
ing most perfectly in him, and as it were swallowed up in him ; so that his res- 
pect to them finally coincides and becomes one and the same with respect to 
himself. The interest of the creature, is, as it were, God's own interest, in pro- 
portion to the degree of their relation and union to God. Thus the interest of a 
man's family is looked upon as the same with his own interest ; because of the 
relation they stand in to him ; his propriety in them, and their strict union with 
him. But consider God's elect creatures with respect to their eternal duration, 
so they are infinitely dearer to God, than a man's family is to him. What has 
been said, shows that as all things are from God as their first cause and foun- 
tain ; so all things tend to him, and in their progress come nearer and nearer 
to him through all eternity : which argues that he who is their first cause is 
their last end. 


Some objections considered which may be made against the reasonableness of what 
has been said of God's making himself his last end. 

Objection 1. Some may object against what has been said, as inconsistent 
\nth God's absolute independence and immutability, particularly the represen- 
tation that has been made, as though God were inclined to a communication oi 
his fulness and emanations of his own glory, as being his own most glorious and 
complete state. It may be thought that this does not well consist with God's 
being self-existent from all eternity, absolutely perfect in himself, in the posses- 
sion of infinite and independent good. And that in general, to suppose that 
God makes himself his end, in the creation of the world, seems to suppose that he 
aims at some interest or happiness of his own, not easily reconcilable with his 
being happy, perfectly and infinitely happy in himself. If it could be supposed that 
God needed any thing ; or that the goodness of his creatures could extend to 
him ; or that they could be profitable to him ; it might be fit, that God should 
make himself, and his own interest, his highest and last end in creating the world ; 
and there would be some reason and ground for the preceding discourse. But 
"seeing that God is above all need and' all capacity of being added to and ad- 


vanced, made better and happier in any respect ; to what purpose should God 
make himself his end ; or seek to advance himself in any respect by any of his 
works ? How absurd is it to suppose that God should do such great things 
with a view to obtain what he is already most perfectly possessed of, and was 
so from all eternity ; and therefore cannot now possibly need, nor with any 
color of reason be supposed to seek 1 

Answer 1. Many have wrong notions of God's happiness, as resulting from 
his absolute self-sufficience, independence, and immutability. Though it be 
true, that God's glory and happiness are in and of himself, are infinite and can- 
not be added to, unchangeable, for the whole and every part of which he is 
perfectly independent of the creature ; yet it does not hence follow, nor is it 
true, that God has no real and proper delight, pleasure or happiness, in any of 
his acts or communications relative to the creature ; or effects he produces in 
them ; or in any thing he sees in the creature's qualifications, dispositions, actions 
and state. God may have a real and proper pleasure or happiness in seeing 
the happy state of the creature ; yet this may not be different from his delight 
in himself ; being a delight in his own infinite goodness ; or the exercise of that 
glorious propensity of his nature to diffuse and communicate himself, and so grati- 
fying this inclination of his own heart. This delight which God has in his 
creature's happiness, cannot properly be said to be what God receives from 
the creature. For it is only the effect of his own work in, and communications 
to the creature, in making it, and admitting it to a participation of his fulness. 
As the sun receives nothing from the jewel that receives its light, and shines 
only by a participation of its brightness. 

With respect also to the creature's holiness : God may have a proper de- 
light and joy in imparting this to the creature, as gratifying hereby his inclina- 
tion, to communicate of his own excellent fulness. God may delight with true 
and great pleasure in beholding that beauty which is an image and communica- 
tion of his own beauty, an expression and manifestation of his own loveliness. 
And this is so far from being an instance of his happiness not being in and from 
himself, that it is an evidence that he is happy in himself, or delights and has 
pleasure in his own beauty. If he did not take pleasure in the expression of his 
own beauty, it would rather be an evidence that he does not delight in his own 
beauty ; that he hath not his happiness and enjoyment in his own beauty and 
perfection. So that if we suppose God has real pleasure and happiness in the 
holy love and praise of his saints, as the image and communication of his own 
holiness, it is not properly any pleasure distinct from the pleasure he has in him- 
self ; but is truly an instance of it. 

And with respect to God*s being glorified in this respect, that those perfec- 
tions wherein his glory consists, are exercised and expressed in their proper and 
corresponding effects ; as his wisdom in wise designs and well contrived works 
— his power in great effects — his justice in acts of righteousness — his goodness 
in communicating happiness ; and so his showing forth the glory of his own 
nature, in its being exercised, exhibited, communicated, known, and esteemed ; 
his having delight herein does not argue that his pleasure or happiness is not in 
himself, and his own glory ; but the contrary. This is the necessary consequence 
of his delighting in the glory of his nature, that he delights in the emanation and 
effulgence of it. 

Nor do any of these things argue any dependence in God on the creature 
for happiness. Though he has real pleasure in the creature's holiness and hap- 
piness ; yet this is not properly any pleasure which he receives from the creature. 
For these things are what he gives the creature. They are wholly and entirely 


from him. Therefore they are nothing that they give to God by which they 
add to him. His rejoicing therein, is rather a rejoicing in his own acts, and his 
own glory expressed in those acts, than a joy derived from the creature. God's 
joy is dependent on nothing besides his own act, which he exerts with an abso- 
lute and independent power. And yet, in some sense it can be truly said that 
God has the more delight and pleasure for the holiness and happiness of his 
creatures. Because God would be less happy, if he was less good : or if he had 
not that perfection of nature which consists in a propensity of nature to diffuse 
of his own fulness. And he would be less happy, if it were possible for him to 
be hindered in the exercise of his goodness, and his other perfections in their 
proper effects. But he has complete happiness, because he has these perfections, 
and cannot be hindered in exercising and displaying them in their proper effects. 
And this surely is not thus, because he is dependent ; but because he is indepen- 
dent on any other that should hinder him. 

From this view it appears, that nothing that has been said is in the least incon- 
sistent with those expressions in the Scripture that signify that man cannot be 
profitable to God ; that he receives nothing of us by any of our wisdom and 
righteousness. For these expressions plainly mean no more than that God is 
absolutely independent of us ; that we have nothing of our own, no stock from 
whence we can give to God ; and that no part of his happiness originates from 

From what has been said it appears, that the pleasure that God hath in 
those things which have been mentioned, is rather a pleasure in diffusing and 
communicating to the creature, than in receiving from the creature. Surely, it 
is no argument of indigence in God, that he is inclined to communicate of his 
infinite fulness. It is no argument of the emptiness or deficiency of a fountain, 
that it is inclined to overflow. — Another thing signified by these ^expressions of 
Scripture is, that nothing that is from the creature, adds to or alters God's hap- 
piness, as though it were changeable either by increase or diminution. Nor 
does any thing that has been advanced in the least suppose or infer that it does, 
or is it in the least inconsistent with the eternity, and most absolute immutability 
of God's pleasure and happiness. — For though these communications of God, 
these exercises, operations, effects and expressions of his glorious perfections, 
which God rejoices in, are in time ; yet his joy in them is without beginning or 
change. They were always equally present in the divine mind. He beheld 
them with equal clearness, certainty and fulness in every respect, as he doth now. 
They were always equally present ; as with him there is no variableness or suc- 
cession. He ever beheld and enjoyed them perfectly in his own independent 
and immutable power and will. And his view of, and joy in them is eternally, 
absolutely perfect, unchangeable and independent. It cannot be added to or 
diminished by the power or will of any creature ; nor is in the least dependent 
on any thing mutable or contingent. 

2. If any are not satisfied with the preceding answer, but still insist on the 
objection ; let them consider whether they can devise any other scheme of God's 
last end in creatingthe world, but what will be equally obnoxious to this objec- 
tion in its full force, if there be any force in it. For if God had any last end in 
creating the world, then there was something, in some respect future, that he 
aimed at, and designed to bring to pass by -creating the world : something that 
was agreeable to his inclination or will ; let that be his own glory, or the happi- 
ness of his creatures, or what it will. Now if there be something that God seeks as 
agreeable, or grateful to him, then in the accomplishment of it he is gratified. If 
the last end which he seeks in the creation of the world, be truly a thine; grate- 


ful to him (as certainly it is if it be truly his end and truly the object of his will), 
then it is what he takes a real delight and pleasure in. But then according to 
the argument of the objection, how can he have any thing future to desire or 
seek, who is already perfectly, eternally and immutably satisfied in himself? 
What can remain for him to take any delight in or to. be further gratified by, 
whose eternal and unchangeable. delight is in himself as his own complete ob- 
ject of enjoyment ? Thus the objector will be pressed with his own objection ; 
let him embrace what notion he will of God's end in the creation. And I think 
he has no way left to answer but that which has been taken above. 

It may therefore be proper here to observe, that let what will be God's last 
end, that, he must have a real and proper pleasure in : whatever be the proper 
object of his will, he is gratified in. And the thing is either grateful to him in 
itself; or for something else for which he wills it : and so is his further end. 
But whatever is God's last end, that he wills for its own sake ; as grateful to 
him in itself; or, which is the same thing, it is that which he. truly delights 
in; or in which he has some degree of true and proper pleasure. Otherwise 
we must deny any such thing as will in God with respect to any thing brought 
to pass in time ; and so must deny his work of creation, or any work of his 
providence to be truly voluntary. But we have as much reason to suppose that 
God's works in creating and governing the world, are properly the fruits of 
his will, as of his understanding. And if there be any such thing at all, as what 
we mean by acts of will in God ; then he is not indifferent whether his will be 
fulfilled or not. And if he is not indifferent, then he is truly gratified and 
pleased in the fulfilment of his will : or, which is the same thing, he has a 
pleasure in it. And if he has a real pleasure in attaining his end, then the 
attainment of it belongs to his happiness. That in which God's delight 01 
pleasure in any* measure consists, his happiness in some measure consists. To 
suppose that God has pleasure in things, that are brought to pass in time, only 
figuratively and metaphorically ; is to suppose that he exercises will about, 
these things, and makes them his end only metaphorically. 

3. The doctrine that makes God's creatures and not himself, to be his last 
end, is a doctrine the farthest from having a favorable aspect on God's absolute 
self-sufticience and independence. It far less agrees therewith than the doctrine 
against which this is objected. For we must conceive of the efficient as de- 
pending on his ultimate end. He depends on this end, in his desires, aims, actions 
and pursuits ; so that he fails in all his desires, actions and pursuits, if he fails 
of his end. — Now if God himself be his last end, then in his dependence on his 
end, he depends on nothing but himself. If all things be of him, and to him, 
and he the first and the last, this shows him to be all in all : he is all to himself. 
He goes not out of himself in what he seeks ; but his desires and pursuits as 
they originate from, so they terminate in himself; and he is dependent on none 
but himself in the beginning or end of any of his exercises or operations. But 
if not himself, but the creature, be his last end, then as he depends on his last 
end, he is in some sort dependent on the creature. 

Objection 2. Some may object, that to suppose that God makes himself 
his highest and last end, is dishonorable to him ; as it in effect supposes, that 
God does every thing from a selfish spirit. Selfishness is looked upon as mean 
and sordid in the creature ; unbecoming and even hateful in such a worm of the 
dust as man. We should look upon a man as of a base and contemptible charac- 
ter, that should in every thing he did, be governed by selfish principles ; should 
make his private interest his governing aim in all his conduct in life. How far 
then should we be from attributing any such thing to the Supreme Being, the 


blessed anl only potentate . Does it not become us to ascribe to him, the most 
noble and generous dispositions ; and those qualities that are the most remote 
from every thing that is private, narrow and sordid ? 

Answer 1. Such an objection must arise from a very ignorant or inconsider- 
ate notion of the vice of selfishness, and the virtue of generosity. If by selfish- 
ness be meant, a disposition in any being to regard himself; this is no otherwise 
vicious or unbecoming, than as one is less than a multitude ; and so the public 
weal is of greater value than his particular interest. Among created beings one 
single person must be looked upon as inconsiderable in comparison of the gen- 
erality ; and so his interest as of little importance compared with the interest 
of the whole system : therefore in them, a disposition to prefer self, as if it 
were more than all, Is exceeding vicious. But it is vicious on no other account 
than as it is a disposition that does not agree with the nature of things ; and 
that which is indeed the greatest good. And a disposition in any one to forego 
his own interest for the sake of others, is no further excellent, no further worthy 
the name of generosity than it is a treating things according to their true value ; 
a prosecuting something most worthy to be prosecuted ; an expression of a dis- 
position to prefer something to self-interest, that is indeed preferable in itself. 
But if God be indeed so great, and so excellent that all other beings are as noth- 
ing to him, and all other excellency be as nothing and less than nothing, and 
vanity in comparison of his ; and God be omniscient, and infallible, and perfect- 
ly knows that he is infinitely the most valuable being ; then it is fit that his 
heart should be agreeable to this, which is indeed the true nature and proportion 
of things, and agreeable to this infallible and all comprehending understand- 
ing which he has of them, and that perfectly clear light in which he views 
them ; and so it is fit and suitable that he should value himself infinitely more 
than his creatures. 

2. In created beings, a regard to self-interest may properly be set in oppo- 
sition to the public welfare; because the private interest of one person may be 
inconsistent with the public good ; at least it may be so in the apprehension of 
that person. That, which this person looks upon as his interest may interfere 
with, or oppose the general good. Hence his private interest may be regarded 
and pursued in opposition to the public. But this cannot be with respect to the 
Supreme Being, the author and head of the whole system, on whom all abso- 
lutely depend ; who is the fountain of being and good to the whole. It is more 
absurd to suppose that his interest should be opposite to the interest of the uni- 
versal system, than that the welfare of the head, heart, and vitals of the natural 
body, should be opposite to the welfare of the body. And it is impossible that 
God, who is ommiscient, should apprehend the matter thus, viz., his interest, as 
being inconsistent with the good and interest of the whole. 

3. God's seeking himself in the creation of the world, in the manner which 
has been supposed, is so far from being inconsistent with the good of his crea- 
tures, or any possibility of being so ; that it is a kind of regard to himself that 
inclines him to seek the good of his creatures. It is a regard to himself that 
disposes him to diffuse and communicate himself. It is such a delight in his 
own internal fulness and glory, that disposes him to an abundant effusion and 
emanation of that glory. The same disposition, that inclines him to delight in 
his glory, causes him to delight in the exhibitions, expressions and communica- 
tions of it. This is a natural conclusion. If there were 'any person of such a 
taste and disposition of mind, that the brightness and light of the sun seemed 
unlovely to him, he would be willing that the sun's brightness and light should 
be retained within itself: but they, that delight in it, to whom it appears lovely 


and glorious, will esteem it an amiable and glorious thing to have it diffused 
and communicated through the world. 

Here by the way it may be properly considered, whether some writers are 
not chargeable with inconsistence in this respect, viz., that whereas they speak 
against the doctrine of God's making himself his own highest and last end, as 
though this were an ignoble selfishness in God ; when indeed he only is fit to be 
made the highest end, by himself and all other beings ; inasmuch as he is the 
highest Being, and infinitely greater and more worthy than all others. — Yet 
with regard to creatures who are infinitely less worthy of supreme and ultimate 
regard, they (in effect at least) suppose that they necessarily at all times seek 
their own happiness, and make it their ultimate end in all, even their most virtu- 
ous actions : and that this principle, regulated by wisdom and prudence, as 
leading to that which is their true and highest happiness, is the foundation of all 
virtue and every thing that is morally good and excellent in them. 

Objection 3. To what has been supposed, that God makes himself his end 
in this way, viz., in seeking that his glory and excellent perfection should be 
known, esteemed, loved and delighted in by his creatures, it may be objected, 
that this seems unworthy of God. It is considered as below a truly great man, 
to be much influenced in his conduct, by a desire of popular applause. The 
notice and admiration of a gazing multitude, would be esteemed but a low end, 
to be aimed at by a prince or philosopher, in any great and noble enterprise. 
How much more is it unworthy the great God, to perform his magnificent works, 
e. g., the creation of the vast universe, out of regard to the notice and admira- 
tion of worms of the dust : that the displays of his magnificence may be gazed 
at, and applauded by those who are infinitely more beneath .him, than the 
meanest rabble, are beneath the greatest prince or philosopher. 

This objection is spacious. It hath a show of argument : but it will appear 
to be nothing but a show — if we consider, 

1. Whether or no it be not worthy of God, to regard and value what is 
excellent and valuable in itself, and so to take pleasure in its existence. 

It seems not liable to any doubt, that there could be nothing future, or no 
future existence worthy to be desired or sought by God, and so worthy to be 
made his end, if no future existence was valuable and worthy to be brought to 
effect. * If when the world was not, there was any possible future thing fit and 
valuable in itself, I think the knowledge of God's glory, and the esteem and 
love of it must be so. Understanding and will are the highest kind of created 
existence. And if they be valuable, it must be in their exercise. But the 
highest and most excellent kind of their exercise, is in some actual knowledge 
and exercise of will. And certainly the most excellent actual knowledge and 
will, that can be in the creature, is the knowledge and the love of God. And 
the most true, excellent knowledge of God is the knowledge of his glory or 
moral excellence, and the most excellent exercise of the will consists in esteem 
and love, and a delight in his glory. If any created existence is in itself worthy 
to be, or any thing that ever was future is worthy of existence, such a communi- 
cation of divine fulness, such an emanation and expression of the divine glory is 
worthy of existence. But if nothing that ever was future was worthy to exist, 
then no future thing was worthy to be aimed at by God in creating the world. 
And if nothing was worthy to be aimed at in creation, then nothing was worthy 
to be God's end in creation. 

If God's own excellency and glory is worthy to be highly valued and delighted 
in by him, then the value and esteem hereof by others, is worthy to be regarded 
by him ; for this is a necessary consequence. To make this plain, let it be con- 


sidered how it is with regard to the excellent qualities of another. If we highly 
value the virtues and excellencies of a friend, in proportion as we do so, we 
shall approve of and like others' esteem of them j and shall disapprove and 
dislike the contempt of them. If these virtues are truly valuable, they are 
worthy that we should thus approve others' esteem, and disapprove their con- 
tempt of them. And the case is the same with respect to any being's own 
qualities or attributes. If he highly esteems them, and greatly delights in them, 
he will naturally and necessarily love to see esteem of them in others, and dis- 
like their disesteem. And if the attributes are worthy to be highly esteemed 
by the being who hath them, so is the esteem of them in others worthy to be 
proportionally approved and regarded. I desire it may be considered, whether 
it be unfit that God should be displeased with contempt of himself. If not, but 
on the contrary, it be fit and suitable that he should be displeased with this, there 
is the same reason that he should be pleased with the proper love, esteem and 
honor of himself. 

The matter may be also cleared, by considering what it would become us 
to approve and value with respect to any public society we belong to, e. g., our 
nation or country. It becomes us to love our country, and therefore it becomes 
us to value the just honor of our country. But the same that it becomes us to 
value and desire for a friend, and the same that it becomes us to desire and seek 
for the community, the same does it become God to value and seek for himself; 
i. e., on supposition it becomes God to love himself as well as it does men to 
love a friend or the public ; which I think has been before proved. 

Here are two things that ought particularly to be adverted to. 1. That in 
God, the love of himself, and the love of the public are not to be distinguished, 
as in man, because God's being, as it were, comprehends all. His existence, 
being infinite, must be equivalent to universal existence. And for the same 
reason that public affection in the creature is fit and beautiful, God's regard to 
himself must be so likewise. 2. In God, the love of what is fit and decent, or 
the love of virtue, cannot be a distinct thing from the love of himself. Be- 
cause the love of God is that wherein all virtue and holiness does primarily and 
chiefly consist, and God's own holiness must primarily consist in the love of 
himself, as was before observed. And if God's holiness consists in love to him- 
self, then it will imply an approbation of, and pleasedness with the esteem and 
love of him in others ; for a being that loves himself, necessarily loves love to 
himself. If holiness in God consist chiefly in love to himself, holiness in the 
creature must chiefly consist in love to him. And if God loves holiness in him- 
self, he must love it in the creature. 

Virtue, by such of the late philosophers as seem to be in chief repute, is 
placed in public affection or general benevolence. And if the essence of virtue 
lies primarily in this, then the love of virtue itself is virtuous no otherwise than 
as it is implied in, or arises trom this public affection, or extensive benevolence 
of mind. Because if a man truly loves the public, he necessarily loves love to 
the public. 

Now, therefore, for the same reason, if universal benevolence in the highest 
sense, be the same thing with benevolence to the Divine Being, who is in effect 
universal being, it will follow, that love to virtue itself is no otherwise virtuous, 
than as it is implied in or arises from love to the Divine Being. Consequently 
God's own love to virtue is implied in love to himself; and is virtuous no 
otherwise than as it arises from love to himself. So that God's virtuous dis- 
position, appearing in love to holiness in the creature, is to be resolved into 
the same thing with love to himself. And consequently whereinsoever he 
Vol. II. ^ 28 


makes virtue his end, he makes himself his end. — In fine, God, being as it were, 
an all comprehending Being, all his moral perfections, as his holiness, justice, 
grace and benevolence are some way or other to be resolved into a supreme and 
infinite regard to himself; and if so it will be easy to suppose that it becomes 
him to make himself his supreme and last end in his works. 

I would here observe by the way, that if any insist that it becomes God to 
love and take delight in the virtue of his creatures for its own sake, in such a 
manner as not to love it from regard to himself, and that it supposeth too much 
selfishness to suppose that all God's delight in virtue is to be resolved into delight 
in himself: this will contradict a former objection against God's taking plea- 
sure in communications of himself, viz., that inasmuch as God is perfectly inde- 
pendent and self-sufficient, therefore all his happiness and pleasure consists in 
the enjoyment of himself. For in the present objection it is insisted that it be- 
comes God to have some pleasure, love or delight in virtue distinct from his 
delight in himself. So that if the same persons make both objections, they 
must be inconsistent with themselves. 

2. In answer to the objection we are upon, as to God's creatures whose 
esteem and love he seeks, being infinitely inferior to God as nothing and vanity ; 
I would observe that it is not unworthy of God to take pleasure in that which in 
itself is fit and amiable, even in those that are infinitely below him. If there be 
infinite grace and condescension in it, yet these are not unworthy of God, but 
infinitely to his honor and glory. 

They who insist that God's own glory was not an ultimate end of his crea- 
tion of the world ; but that all that he had any ultimate regard to was the hap- 
piness of his creatures ; and suppose that he made his creatures, and not himself, 
his last end, do it under a color of exalting and magnifying God's benevolence 
and love to his creatures. — But if his love to them be so great, and he so highly 
values them as to look upon them worthy to be his end in all his great works as 
they suppose ; they are not consistent with themselves in supposing that God 
has so little value for their love and esteem. For as the nature of love, es- 
pecially great love, causes him that loves to value the esteem of the person 
beloved ; so that God should take pleasure in the creature's just love and es- 
teem will follow both from God's love to himself and his love to his creatures. 
If he esteem and love himself, he must approve of esteem and love to himself, 
and disapprove the contrary. And if he loves and values the creature, he must 
value and take delight in their mutual love and esteem, because he loves not 
because he needs them. 

3. As to what is alleged of its being unworthy of great men to be governed 
in their conduct and achievements by a regard to the applause of the popu- 
lace ; I would observe, what makes their applause to be worthy of so little re- 
gard, is their ignorance, giddiness and injustice. The applause of the multi- 
tude very frequently is not founded on any just view and understanding of 
things, but on humor, mistake, folly and unreasonable affections. Such applause 
is truly worthy to be disregarded. But it is not beneath a man of the greatest 
dignity and wisdom, to value the wise and just esteem of others, however infe- 
rior to him. The contrary, instead of being an expression of greatness of mind, 
would show a haughty and mean spirit. It is such an esteem in his creatures 
only, that God hath any regard to : for it is such an esteem only that is fit and 
amiable in itself. 

Objection 4. To suppose that God makes himself his ultimate end in the 
creation of the world derogates from the freeness of his goodness, in his benefi- 
cence to his creatures ; and from their obligations to gratitude for the good 


communicated. For if God, in communicating his fulness, makes himself and 
.iot the creatures, his end ; then what good he does, he does for himself, and 
iot for them ; for his own sake, and not theirs. 

Answer. God and the creature, in this affair of the emanation of the divine 
fulness, are not properly set in opposition, or made the opposite parts of a dis- 
junction. Nor ought God's glory and the creature's good to be spoken of as if 
they were properly and entirely distinct, as they are in the objection. This 
supposeth, that God's having respect to his glory, and the communication of 
good to his creatures, are things altogether different : That God's communica- 
ting his fulness for himself, and his doing it for them, are things standing in a 
proper disjunction and opposition. Whereas if we were capable of having 
more full and perfect views of God and divine things, which are so much above 
us, it is probable it would appear very clear to us, that the matter is quite other- 
wise ; and that these things, instead of appearing entirely distinct, are implied 
one in the other. That God, in seeking his glory, therein seeks the good of his 
creatures. Because the emanation of his glory (which he seeks and delights in, 
as he delights in himself and his own eternal glory) implies the communicated 
excellency and happiness of his creatures. And that in communicating his ful- 
ness for them, he does it for himself. Because their good, which he seeks, is so 
much in union and communion with himself. God is their good. Their excel- 
lency and happiness is nothing but the emanation and expression of God's glory. 
God, in seeking their glory and happiness, seeks himself, and in seeking him- 
self, i. e. himself diffused and expressed (which he delights in, as he delights in his 
own beauty and fulness), he seeks their glory and happiness. 

This will the better appear, if we consider the degree and manner in w T hich 
he aimed at the creature's excellency and happiness in his creating the world ; 
viz., the degree and manner of the creature's glory and happiness during the 
whole of the designed eternal duration of the world he was about to create ; 
which is in greater and greater nearness and strictness of union with himself, 
and greater and greater communion and participation with him in his own glo- 
ry and happiness, in constant progression, throughout all eternity. As the 
creature's good was viewed in this manner when God made the world for it, 
viz., with respect to the whole of the eternal duration of it, and the eternally 
progressive union and communion with him ; so the creature must be viewed 
as in infinite strict union with himself. In this view it appears that God's re- 
spect to the creature in the whole, unites with his respect to himself. Both re- 
fards are like two lines which seem at the beginning to be separate, but aim 
nally to meet in one, both being directed to the same centre. And as to the 
good of the creature itself, if viewed in its whole duration, and infinite progres- 
sion, it must be viewed as infinite ; and so not only being some communication 
of God's glory, but as coming nearer and nearer to the same thing in its infi- 
nite fulness. The nearer any thing comes to infinite, the nearer it comes to an 
identity with God. And if any good, as viewed by God, is beheld as infinite, 
it cannot be viewed as a distinct thing from God's own infinite glory. 

The apostle's discourse of the great love of Christ to men, Eph. v. 25, to 
the end, leads us thus to think of the love of Christ to his church, as coinciding 
with his love to himself, by virtue of the strict union of the church with him. 
Thus, " Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and gave 
himself for it, that he might present it to himself a glorious church. So ought 
men to love their wives, as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth 
himself, even as the Lord the church ; for we are members of his body, of his 
flesh, and of his bones." 


Now I apprehend that there is nothing in this manner of God's seeking the 
good of the creatures, or in his disposition to communicate of his own fulness 
to them, that at all derogates from the excellence of it, or the creature's obli- 

God's disposition to communicate good, or to cause his own infinite fulness 
to flow forth, is not the less properly called God's goodness, because the good 
that he communicates, is something of himself; a communication of his own 
*lory, and what he delights in as he delights in his own glory. The creature 
iias no less benefit by it j neither has such a disposition less of a direct tendency 
to the creature's benefit ; or the less of a tendency to love to the creature, when 
the creature comes to exist. Nor is this disposition in God to communicate of 
and diffuse his own good, the less excellent, because it is implied in his love 
and regard to himself. For his love to himself does not imply it any other- 
wise, than as it implies a love to whatever is worthy and excellent. The ema- 
nation of God's glory, is in itself worthy and excellent, and so God delights in 
it j and his delight in this excellent thing, is implied in his love to himself, or 
his own fulness ; because that is the fountain, and so the sum and comprehen- 
sion of every thing that is excellent. And the matter standing thus, it is evi- 
dent that these things cannot derogate from the excellency of this disposition 
in God, to an emanation of his own fulness, or communication of good to the 

Nor does God's inclination to communicate good in this manner, i. e. from 
regard to himself, or delight in his own glory, at all diminish the freeness of 
his beneficence in this communication. This will appear, if we consider particu- 
larly in what ways doing good to others from self-love, may be inconsistent with 
the freeness of beneficence. And I conceive there are only these two ways : 

1. When any does good to another from confined self-love, that is opposite 
to a general benevolence. This kind of self-love is properly called selfishness. 
In some sense, the most benevolent, generous person in the world, seeks his 
own happiness in doing good to others, because he places his happiness in their 
good. His mind is so enlarged as to take them, as it were, into himself. Thus, 
when they are happy, he feels it, he partakes with them, and is happy in their 
happiness. This is so far from being inconsistent with the freeness of benefi- 
cence, that on the contrary, free benevolence and kindness consists in it. The 
most free beneficence that can be in men, is doing good, not from a confined 
selfishness, but from a disposition to general benevolence, or love to beings in 

But now, with respect to the Divine Being, there is no such thing as such 
confined selfishness in him, or a love to himself, opposite to general benevo- 
lence. It is impossible, because he comprehends all entity, and all excellence 
in his own essence. The first Being, the eternal and infinite Being, is in effect, 
Being in general ; and comprehends universal existence, as was observed be- 
fore. God, in his benevolence to his creatures, cannot have his heart enlarged 
in such a manner as to take in beings that he finds, who are originally out of 
himself, distinct and independent. This cannot be in an infinite being, who 
exists alone from eternity. But he, from his goodness, as it were enlarges 
himself in a more excellent and divine manner. This is by communicating and 
diffusing himself; and so instead of finding, making objects of his benevolence ; 
not by taking into himself what he finds distinct from himself, and so partak- 
ing of their good, and being happy in them, but by flowing forth, and express- 
ing himself in them, and making them to partake of him, and rejoicing in him- 
self expressed in them, nnd communicated to them. 


2. Another thing, in doing good to others from self-love, that derogates from 
the freeness of the goodness, is doing good to others from dependence on them 
for the good we need or desire ; which dependence obliges. So that in our 
beneficence we are not self-moved; but as it were constrained by something 
without ourselves. But it has been particularly shown already, that God's 
making himself his end, in the manner that has been spoken of, argues no de- 
pendence, but is consistent with absolute independence and self-sufficience. 

And I would here observe, that there is something in that disposition in God 
to communicate goodness, which shows him to be independent and self-moved 
in it, in a manner that is peculiar, and above what is in the beneficence of crea- 
tures. Creatures, even the most gracious of them, are not so independent and 
self-moved* in their goodness, but that in all the exercises of it, they are excited 
by some object that they find ; something appearing good, or in some respect 
worthy of regard, presents itself, and moves their kindness. But God, being 
all and alone, is absolutely self-moved. The exercises of his communicative dis- 
position are absolutely from within himself, not finding any thing, or any object 
to excite them or draw them forth ; but all that is good and worthy in the 
object, and the very being of the object, proceeding from the overflowing of his 

These things show that the supposition of God's making himself his last 
end, in the manner spoken of, does not at all diminish the creature's obligation 
to gratitude, for communications of good it receives. For if it lessen its obliga- 
tion, it must be on one of the following accounts. Either, that the creature has not 
so much benefit by it, or that the disposition it flows from is not proper goodness, 
not having so direct a tendency to the creature's benefit, or that the disposition 
is not so virtuous and excellent in its kind, or that the beneficence is not so free. 
But it has been observed that none of these things take place, with regard to 
that disposition, which has been supposed to have excited God to create the 

I confess there is a degree of indistinctness and obscurity in the close con- 
sideration of such subjects, and a great imperfection in the expressions we use 
concerning them, arising unavoidably from the infinite sublimity of the subject, 
and the incomprehensibleness of those things that are divine. Hence revela- 
tion is the surest guide in these matters, and what that teaches shall in the next 
place be considered. Nevertheless, the endeavors used to discover what the 
voice of reason is, so far as it can go, may serve to prepare the way, by obvia- 
ting cavils insisted on by many ; and to satisfy us that what the Word of God 
says of the matter, is not unreasonable, and thus prepare our minds for a more 
full acquiescence in the instructions it gives, according to the more natural and 
genuine sense of words and expressions, we find often used there concerning 
this subject 





The Scriptures represent God as making himself his own last end in the creation of 

the world. 

It is manifest, that the Scriptures speak, on all occasions, as though God 
made, himself his end in all his works ; and as though the same Being, who is 
the first cause of all things, were the supreme and last end of all things. Thus 
in Isa. xliv. 6, " Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the 
Lord of Hosts, I am the first, I also am the last, and besides me there is no God." 
Chap, xlviii. 12, " I am the first, and I am the last." Rev. i. 8, " I am Alpha and 
Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and was, and 
which is to come, the Almighty." Verse 11, "I am Alpha and Omega, the 
first and the last." Verse 17, " I am the first and the last." Chap. xxi. 6, 
" And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the 
end." Chap. xxii. 13, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, 
the first and the last." 

And when God is so often spoken of as the last as well as the first, and the 
end as well as the beginning, what is meant (or at least implied) is, that as he 
is the first efficient cause and fountain from whence all things originate ; so he 
is the last final cause for which they are made ; the final term to which they all 
tend in their ultimate issue. This seems to be the most natural import of these 
expressions ; and is confirmed by other parallel passages ; as Rom. xi. 36, 
" For of him, and through him, and to him are all things." Col. i. 16, " For 
by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visi- 
ble and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or 
powers ; all things were created by him, and for him." Heb. ii. 10, " For it be- 
came him, by whom are all things, and for whom are all things." In Prov. xvi. 
4, it is said expressly, " The Lord hath made all things for himself." 

And the manner is observable, in which God is said to be the last, to whom, 
and for whom are all things. It is evidently spoken of as a meet and suitable 
thing, a branch of his glory ; a meet prerogative of the great, infinite and eter- 
nal Being ; a thing becoming the dignity of him who is infinitely above all other 
beings ; from whom all things are, and by whom they consist, and in compari- 
son with whom, all other things are as nothing. 


Wherein some positions are advanced concerning a just method of arguing in this 
affair, from what we find in holy Scriptures. 

We have seen that the Scriptures speak of the creation of the world as being 
for God, as its end. What remains therefore to be inquired into, is, Which way 
do the Scriptures represent God as making himself his end? 


It is evident that God does not make his existence or being the end of the 
creation ; nor can he be supposed to do so without great absurdity. His being 
and existence cannot be conceived of but as prior to any of God's acts or de- 
signs ; they must be presupposed as the ground of them. Therefore it cannot 
be in this way that God makes himself the end of his creating the world. He 
cannot create the world to the end that he may have existence ; or may have 
such attributes and perfections, and such an essence. Nor do the Scriptures give 
the least intimation of any such thing. Therefore, what divine effect, or what 
it is in relation to God, that is the thing which the Scripture teacheth us to be 
the end he aimed at in his works of creation, in designing of which, he makes 
himself his end. 

In order to a right understanding of the Scripture doctrine, and drawing just 
inferences from what we find said in the word of God relative to this matter ; 
so to open the way to a true and definitive answer to the above inquiry, I would 
lay down the following positions. 

Position 1. That which appears to be spoken of as God's ultimate end in 
his works of providence in general, we may justly suppose to be his last end in 
the work of creation. — This appears from what was observed before (under the 
fifth particular of the introduction) which I need not now repeat. 

Position 2. When any thing appears by the Scripture to be the /ast end of 
some of the works of God, which thing appears, in fact, to be the result, not 
only of this work, but of God's works in general ; and although it be not 
mentioned as the end of those works, but only of some of them, yet being 
actually the result of other works as well as that, and nothing appears peculiar, 
in the nature of the case, that renders it a fit, and beautiful and valuable result 
of those particular works, more than of the rest ; but it appears with equal rea- 
son desirable and valuable in the case of all works, of which it is spoken in 
the word of God as (and seen in fact to be) the effect; we may justly infer, 
that thing to be the last end of those other works also. For we must suppose 
it to be on account of the valuableness of the effect, that it is made the end of 
those works which it is expressly spoken of as the end ; and this effect, by the 
supposition, being equally, and in like manner the result of the work, and of 
the same value, it is but reasonable to suppose, that it is the end of the work, 
of which it is naturally the consequence, in one case as well as in another. 

Position 3. The ultimate end of God's creating the world, being also (as 
was before observed) the last end of all God's works of providence, and that 
in the highest sense, and being above all other things important, we may well 
presume that this end will be chiefly insisted on in the word of God, in the ac- 
count it gives of God's designs and ends in his works of providence — and there- 
fore, if there be any particular thing, that we find more frequently mentioned in 
Scripture as God's ultimate aim in his works of providence, than any thing else, 
this is a presumption that this is the supreme and ultimate end of God's works in 
general, and so the end of the work of creation. 

Position 4. That which appears from the word of God to be his last end 
with respect to the moral world, or God's last end in the creation and disposal 
of the intelligent part of the system, and in the moral government of the 
world, that is God's last end in the work of creation in general. Because it is 
evident, from the constitution of the world itself, as well as from the word of 
God, that the moral part is the end of all the rest of the creation. The inani- 
mate unintelligent part is made for the rational as much as a house is prepared 
for the inhabitant. And it is evident also from reason and the word of Grod, 
that it is with regard to what is moral in them, or for the sake of some moral 


good in them, that moral agents are made and the world made for them. But 
it is further evident that whatsoever is the last end of that part of creation that 
is the end of all the rest, and for which all the rest of the world was made, 
must be the last end of the whole. If all the other parts of a watch are made 
for the hand of the watch, to move that aright, and for a due and proper 
regulation of that, then it will follow, that the last end of the hand, is the last 
end of the whole machine. 

Position 5. That, which appears from the Scripture to be God's last end in 
the chief work or works of his providence, we may well determine is God's last 
end in creating the world. For as was observed, we may justly infer the end 
of a thing from the use of it. We may justly infer the end of a clock, a chariot, 
a ship, or water, engine from the main use to which it is applied. But God's pro- 
vidence is his use of the world he has made. And if there be any work or 
works of providence that are evidently God's main work or works, herein 
appears and consists the main use that God makes of the creation. — From these 
two last positions we may infer the next, viz. 

Position 6. Whatever appears by the Scriptures to be God's last end in his 
main work or works of providence towards the moral world, that we justly infer 
to be the last end of the creation of the world. Because, as was just now ob- 
served, the moral world is the chief part of the creation and the end of the rest ; 
and God's last end in creating that part of the world, must be his last end in 
the creation of the whole. And it appears by the last position, that the end of 
God's main work or works of providence towards them, or the main use he puts 
them to, shows the last end for which he has made them ; and consequently the 
main end for which he has made the whole world. 

Position 7. That which divine revelation shows to be God's last end with 
respect to that part of the moral world which are good, or which are according 
to his mind, or such as he would have them be ; I say that which is God's last 
end with respect to these (i. e. his last end in their being, and in their being 
good), this we must suppose to be the last end of God's creating the world. 
For it has been already shown that God's last end in the moral part of creation 
must be the end of the whole. But his end in that part of the moral world that 
are good, must be the last end for which he has made the moral world in gen- 
eral. For therein consists the goodness of a thing, viz., in its fitness to answer 
its end : or, at least this must be goodness in the eyes of the author of that 
thing. For goodness in his eyes is its agreeableness to his mind. But an 
agreeableness to his mind in what he makes for some end or use, must be an 
agreeableness or fitness to that end. For his end in this case is his mind. That 
which he chiefly aims at in that thing, is chiefly his mind with respect to that 
thing. And therefore they are good moral agents, who are fitted for the end 
for which God has made moral agents : as they are good machines, instruments 
and utensils that are fitted to the end they are designed for. And consequently 
that which is the chief end to which in being good they are fitted, that is the 
chief end of utensils. So that which is the chief end to which good created 
moral agents in being good are fitted, this is the chief end of moral agents, or 
the moral part of the creation ; and consequently of the creation in general. 

Position 8. That, which the word of God requires the intelligent and moral 
part of the world to seek as their main end, or to have respect to in that they 
do, and regulate all their conduct by, as their ultimate and highest end, that we 
have reason to suppose is the last end for which God has made them ; and con* 
sequently, by position fourth, the last end for which he has made the whole 
world. A main difference between the intelligent and moral parts, and the rest 


of the world, lies in this, that the former are capable of knowing their Creator, 
and the end for which he made them, and capable of actively complying with 
his design in their creation and promoting it ; while other creatures cannot pro- 
mote the design of their creation, only passively and eventually. And seeing 
they are capable of knowing the end for which their author has made them, 
it is doubtless their duty to fall in with it. Their wills ought to comply with the 
will of the Creator in this respect, in mainly seeking the same as their last end 
which God mainly seeks as their last end. This must be the law of nature and 
reason with respect to them. And we must suppose that God's revealed law, 
and the law of nature agree ; and that his will, as a lawgiver, must agree with 
his will as a Creator. Therefore we justly infer, that the same thing which 
God's revealed law requires intelligent creatures to seek as their last and 
greatest end, that God their Creator has made their last end, and so the end of 
the creation of the world. 

Position 9. We may well suppose that what seems in holy Scripture from 
time to time to be spoken of as the main end of the goodness of the good part 
of the moral world, so that the respect and relation their virtue or goodness has 
to that end, is what chiefly makes it valuable and desirable ; I say, we may 
well suppose that to be the thing which is God's last end in the creation of the 
moral world ; and so by position fourth, of the whole world. For the end of 
the goodness of a thing, is the end of the thing. Herein, it was observed before, 
must consist the goodness or valuablencss of any thing in the eyes of him that 
made it for his use, viz., its being good for that use, or good with respect to the 
end for which he made it. 

Position 10. That which persons who are described in Scripture as approved 
saints, and set forth as examples of piety, sought as their last and highest end 
in the things which they did, and which are mentioned as parts of their holy con- 
versation, or instances of their good and approved behavior ; that we must sup- 
pose, was what they ought to seek as their last end ; and consequently by the 
preceding position was the same with God's last end in the creation of the 

Position 11. That which appears by the word of God to be that end or 
event, in the desire of which, the souls of the good parts of the moral world, es- 
pecially of the best, and in their best frames, do most naturally and directly 
exercise their goodness in, and in expressing of their desire of this event or end. 
they do most properly and directly express their respect to God ; we may, I 
say, well suppose, that event or end to be the chief and ultimate end of a 
spirit of piety and goodness, and God's chief end in making the moral world, 
and so the whole world. For doubtless the most direct and natural desire and 
tendency of a spirit of true goodness in the good and best part of the moral 
world is to the chief end of goodness, and so the chief end of the creation of the 
moral world. And in what else can the spirit of true respect and friendship to 
God be expressed by way of desire, than desires of the same end, which God 
himself chiefly and ultimately desires and seeks in making them and all other 
things 1 

Position 12. Since the holy Scriptures teach us that Jesus Christ is the 
head of the moral world, and especially of all the good part of it ; the chief of 
God's servants, appointed to be the head of his saints and angels, and set forth as 
the chief and most perfect pattern and example of goodness ; we majr well sup- 
pose by the foregoing positions, that what he sought as his last end, was God's 
last end in the creation of the world. 

Vou II 29 



Particular texts of Scripture, that show that God's glory is an ultimate End of the 


What God says in Isa. xlviii. 1 1 , naturally leads us to suppose, that the way 
in which God makes himself his end in his work or works which he does for his 
own sake, is in making his glory his end. " For my own sake, even for my 
own sake will 1 do it. For how should my name be polluted ? and I will not 
give my glory to another." Which is as much as to say, I will obtain my end, 
I will not forego my glory : another shall not take this prize from me. It is 
pretty evident here, that God's name and his glory, which seems to intend the 
same thing (as shall be observed more particularly afterwards), are spoken of 
as his last end in the great work mentioned, not as an inferior, subordinate end, 
subservient to the interest of others. The words are emphatical. The emphasis 
and repetition constrain us to understand that what God does, is ultimately for 
his own sake : ■ For my own sake, even for my own sake will I do it." 

So the words of the apostle, in Rom. xi. 36, naturally lead us to suppose 
that the way in which all things are to God, is in being for his glory. " For 
of him, and through him, and to him are all things ; to whom be glory forever 
and ever. Amen." In the preceding context, the apostle observes the mar- 
vellous disposals of divine wisdom, for causing all things to be to him in their 
final issue and result, as they are from him at first, and governed by him. His 
discourse shows how God contrived and brought this to pass in his disposition 
of things, viz., by setting up the kingdom of Christ in the world ; leaving the 
Jews, and calling the Gentiles ; and in what he would hereafter do in bringing 
in the Jews with the fulness of the Gentiles ; with the circumstances of these 
wonderful works, so as greatly to show his justice and his goodness, magnify his 
grace, and manifest the sovereignty and freeness of it, and the absolute depend- 
ence of all on him — and then in the four last verses, breaks out into a most 
pathetic, rapturous exclamation, expressing his great admiration of the depth 
of divine wisdom in the steps he takes for the attaining his end, and causing all 
things to be to him ; and finally, he expresses a joyful consent to God's excel- 
lent design in all to glorify himself, in saying, " to him be glory forever ;" as 
much as to say, as all things are so wonderfully ordered for his glory, so let 
him have the glory of all, forevermore. 

2. The glory of God is spoken of in holy Scripture as the last end for which 
that part of the moral world that are good were made. Thus in Isaiah xliii. 6, 
7, " I will say to the North, give up, and to the South, keep not back. — Bring 
my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth, even every one 
that is called by my name ; for I have created him for my glory, I have formed 
him, yea, I have made him." Isaiah lx. 21, "Thy people also shall be all 
righteous. They shall inherit the land forever ; the branch of my planting, the 
work of my hand, that I may be glorified." Chap, lxl 3, " That they may be 
called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." 

In the$e places we see that the glory of God is spoken of as the end of God's 
saints, the end for which he makes them, i. e. either gives them being, or gives 
them a being as saints, or both. It is said that God has made and formed them 
to be his sons and daughters, for his own glory ; that they are trees of his 
planting, the work of his hands, as trees of righteousness, that he might be 


glorified. And if we consider the words, especially as taken with the context 
in each of the places, it will appear quite unnatural to suppose that God's glory- 
is here spoken of only as an end inferior and subordinate to the happiness of 
God's people ; or as a prediction that God would create, form and plant them 
that he might be glorified, that so God's people might be happy. On the con- 
trary, if we take the places with the context, they will appear rather as promises 
of making God's people happy, that God therein might he glorified. So is 
that in chapter xliii., as we shall see plainly if we take the whole that is said 
from the beginning of the chapter. It is wholly a promise of a future, great, 
and wonderful work of God's power and grace, delivering his people from all 
misery, and making them exceeding happy ; and then the end of all, or the 
sum of God's design in all, is declared to be God's own glory. " I have re- 
deemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine. I will be with thee. 
When thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burnt, nor the flame kindle 
upon thee — thou art precious and honorable in my sight. I will give men for 
thee, and people for thy life. Fear not, I am with thee. I will bring my sons 
from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth ; every one that is call- 
ed by my n ame, for I have created him for my glory." 

So it plainly is, chapter lx. 21. The whole chapter is made up of nothing 
but promises of future, exceeding happiness to God's church. But for brevity's 
sake, let us take only the two preceding verses. " The sun shall be no more 
thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee ; 
but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. 
Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for 
the Lord shall be thine everlasting light ; and the days of thy mourning shall 
be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous ; they shall inherit the land 
forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands," and then the end 
of all is added, " that Imight be glorified." All the preceding promises are 
plainly mentioned as so many parts or constituents of the great and exceeding 
happiness of God's people ; and God's glory is mentioned rather as God's end, 
or the sum of his design in this happiness, than this happiness as the end of this 
glory. Just in like manner is the promise in the third verse of the next chap- 
ter. " To appoint to them that mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, 
the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, 
that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, 
that he might be glorified." The work of God promised to be effected, is plainly 
an accomplishment of the joy, gladness and happiness of God's people, instead 
of their mourning and sorrow ; and the end in which the work issues, or that in 
which God's design in this work is obtained and summed up, is his glory. This 
proves by the seventh position, that God's glory is the end of the creation. 

The same thing may be argued from Jer. xiii. 11:" For as a girdle cleaveth 
to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of 
Israel, and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord ; that they might be unto 
rae for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory, but they 
would not hear." That is, God sought to make them to be his own holy peo- 
ple ; or, as the apostle expresses it, his peculiar people, zealous of good works ; 
that so they might be a glory to him, as girdles were used in those days for 
ornament and beauty, and as badges of dignity and honor.* Which is agreea- 
ble to the places observed before, that speak of the church as the glory of Christ. 

Now when God speaks of himself, as seeking a peculiar and holy people 
for himself, to be for his glory and honor, as a man that seeks an ornament and 

* See verse 9, and also Isaiah i ; i. 24, xxii. 21, and xxiii. 10. 2 Sara, xviii. 11. Exod.xxviii. 8, 


bado-e of he nor tor his glory, it is not natural to understand it merely of a subor- 
dinate end, as though God had no respect to himself in it, but only the good of 
others. If so, the comparison would not be natural ; for men are commonly 
wont to seek their own glory and honor in adorning themselves, and dignifying 
themselves with badges of honor, out of respect to themselves. 

The same doctrine seems to be taught, Eph. i. 5, 6. " Having predestinated 
us to the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ, unto himself, according to the 
good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace." 

The same may be argued from Isaiah xliv. 23, " For the Lord hath redeemed 
Jacob, he hath glorified himself in Israel." And chapter xlix. 3, " Thou art 
my servant Jacob, in whom I will be glorified." John xvii. 10, " And all mine 
are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them." 2 Thess. i. 10, 
" When he shall come to be glorified in his saints." Verses 11, 12, " Where- 
fore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of his 
calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith 
with power ; that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and ye 
in him, according to the grace of God and our Lord Jesus Christ." 

3. The Scripture speaks from time to time of God's glory, as though it were 
his ultimate end of the goodness of the moral part of the creation; and that end, 
in a respect and relation to which chiefly it is, that the value or worth of their 
virtue consists. As in Phil. i. 10, 11, " That ye may approve things that are 
excellent, that ye may be sincere, and without offence till the day of Christ : 
being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the 
glory and praise of God." Here the apostle shows how the fruits of righteous- 
ness in them are valuable and how they answer their end, viz., in being " by 
Jesus Christ to the praise and glory of God." John xv. 8, " Herein is my 
Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." Signifying that by this means it is, 
that the °reat end of religion is to be answered. And in 1 Peter iv. 11, the 
apostle directs the Christians to regulate all their religious performances, with 
reference to that one end. " If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God. 
If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth, that God 
in all things may be glorified ; to whom be praise and dominion forever and 
ever. Amen." And from time to time, embracing and practising true religion, 
and repenting of sin, and turning to holiness, is expressed by glorifying God, 
as though that were the sum and end of the whole matter. Rev. xi. 13, " And 
in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand ; and the remnant were 
affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven." So, Rev. xiv. 6, 7, " And 
I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to 
preach to them that dwell on the earth ; — saying, with a loud voice, fear God, 
and give glory to him." As though this were the sum and end of that virtue 
and religion, which was the grand design of preaching the gospel everywhere 
through the world. Rev. xvi. 9, "And repented not, to give him glory." 
Which is as much as to say, they did not forsake their sins and turn to true re- 
ligion, that God might receive that which is the great end he seeks, in the 
religion he requires of men. See to the same purpose, Psalm xxii. 21 — 23, 
Isa. lxvi. 19, xxiv. 15, xxv. 3, Jer. xiii. 15, 16, Dan. v. 23, Rom. xv. 5, 6. 

And as the exercise of true religion and virtue in Christians is summarily 
expressed by their glorifying God ; so when the good influence of this on others, 
as bringing them by the example to turn to the ways and practice of true good- 
ness, is spoken of, it is expressed in the same manner. Matth. v. 16, " Let 
your light so shine before men, that others seeing- your good works, may glo- 
rify your Father which is in heaven." 1. Pet. ii. 12, " Having your conver- 


sation honest among the Gentiles, that whereas they speak evil against you as 
evil doers, they may by your good works which they behold, glorify God in the 
day of visitation." 

That the ultimate end of moral goodness, or righteousness, is answered in 
God's glory being attained, is supposed in the objection which the apostle 
makes, or supposes some will make, in Rom. iii. 7 : " For if the truth of God 
hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory, why am I judged as a sin- 
ner V i. e., seeing the great end of righteousness is answered by my sin, in 
God's being glorified, why is my sin condemned and punished ; and why is 
not my vice equivalent to virtue ? 

And the glory of God is spoken of as that wherein consists the value and 
end of particular graces ; as of faith. Rom. iv. 20 ; " He staggered not at the 
promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to 
God." Phil. ii. 11, "That every tongue should confess that Jesus is the 
Lord, to the glory of God the Father/' Of repentance, Josh. vi. 19, " Give, 
I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him." 
Of Charity ; 2 Cor. viii. 19, " With this grace, which is administered by us, to 
the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind." Thanks- 
giving and praise ; Luke vii. 18, " There are not found that returned to give 
glory to God, save this stranger." Psalm 1. 23, " Whoso offereth praise glo- 
rifieth me, and to him that ordereth his conversation aright, w r ill I show the 
salvation of God." Concerning which last place it may be observed, God here 
seems to say this to such as abounded in their sacrifices and outward ceremonies 
of religion, as taking it for granted, and as what they knew already, and sup- 
posed in their religious performances, that the end of all religion was to glorify 
God. They supposed they did this in the best manner, in offering a multitude 
of sacrifices (see the preceding part of the Psalm). But here God corrects this 
mistake, and informs that this grand end of religion is not attained this way, but 
m offering the more spiritual sacrifices of praise and a holy conversation. 

In fine, the words of the apostle in 1 Cor. vi. 20, are worthy of particular 
notice : " Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price ; therefore glorify 
God in your body, and in your spirit, which are his." Here not only is glorify- 
ing God spoken of, as what summarily comprehends the end of that religion 
and service of God, which is the end of Christ's redeeming us ; but here I 
would further remark this, that the apostle in this place urges, that inasmuch 
as we are not our own, but bought for God, that we might be his ; therefore 
we ought not to act as if we were our own, but as God's ; and should not use 
the members of our bodies, or faculties of our souls for ourselves,. as making 
ourselves our end, but for God, as making him our end. And he expresses 
the way in which we are to make God our end, viz., in making his glory our 
end : " Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are his." 
Here it cannot be pretended, that though Christians are indeed required to 
make God's glory their end ; yet it is but as a subordinate end, as subservient 
to their own happiness, as a higher end ; for then in. acting chiefly and ulti- 
mately for their own selves, they would use themselves more as their own, than 
as God's ; which is directly contrary to the design of the apostle's exhortation, 
and the argument he is upon ; which is, that we should give ourselves, as it 
were, away from ourselves to God, and use ourselves as his, and not our own, 
acting for his sake, and not our own sakes. Thus it is evident by Position 9, 
that the glory of God rs the last end for which he created the world. 

4. There are some things in the word of God, that lead us to suppose that 
it requires of men, that they should desire and seek God's glory, as their high- 


est and last end in what they do. As particularly the passage last mentioned. 
This appears from what has been just now observed upon it. The same may 
be argued from 1 Cor. x. 30 : " Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatso- 
ever ye do, do all to the glory of God." And 1 Pet iv. 11, " That God in all 
things may be glorified ;" which was mentioned before. And it may be argued 
that Christ requires his followers should desire and seek God's glory in the first 
place, and above all things else, from that prayer which he gave his disciples, as 
the pattern and rule for the direction of his followers in their prayers. The first 
petition of which is, " Hallowed be thy name." Which in Scripture language 
is the same with " glorified be thy name ;" as is manifest from Lev. x. 3, Ezek. 
xxviii. 22, and many other places. Now our last and highest end is doubtless 
what should be first in our desires, and consequently first in our prayers ; and there- 
fore we may argue, that since Christ directs that God's glory should be first in 
our prayers, therefore this is our last end. This is further confirmed by the conclu- 
sion of the Lord's prayer, " For thine is the kingdom, the power and glory." 
Which, as it stands in connection with the rest of the prayer, implies that we 
desire and ask all these things, which are mentioned in each petition, with a sub- 
ordination, and in subservience to the dominion and glory of God ; in which all 
our desires ultimately terminate, as their last end. God's glory and dominion 
are the two first things mentioned in the prayer, and are the subject of the first 
half of the prayer ; and they are the two last things mentioned in the same 
prayer, in its conclusion : and God's glory is the Alpha and Omega in the prayer. 
From these things We may argue, according to Position 8, that God's glorv- 
is the last end of the creation. 

5. The glory of God appears, by the account given in the word of God, to 
be that end or event, in the earnest desires of which, and in their delight in 
which, the best part of the moral world, and when in their best frames, do most 
naturally express the direct tendency of the spirit of true goodness, and give 
vent to the virtuous and pious affections of their heart, and » do most properly 
and directly testify their supreme respect to their Creator. This is the way in 
which the holy apostles, from time to time, gave vent to the ardent exercises of 
their piety, and expressed and breathed forth their regard to the Supreme Beinr/;. 
Rom. xi. 36, " To whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." Chap. xvi. f.7, 
r f To God only wise, be glory, through Jesus Christ, forever. Amen." Gai. i. 
4, 5, " Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this pres- 
ent evil world, acording to the will of God and our Father, to whom be giory 
foiever and ever. Amen." 2 Tim. iv. 18, " And the Lord shall deliver me 
from every jevil work, and w r ill preserve me to his heavenly kingdom ; to whom 
be glory forever and ever. Amen." Eph. iii. 21, " Unto him be glory in the 
church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end." Heb. xiii. 21, 
" Through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." Phil. iv. 
20, " Now unto God and our Father, be glory forever and ever. Amen." 2 
Pet. iii. 18, " To him be glory both now and forever. Amen." Jude 25, 
" To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, 
both now and ever. Amen." Rev. i. 5, 6, " Unto him that loved us &c. — to 
him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." It was in this way that 
holy David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, vented the ardent tendencies and desires 
of his pious heart. 1 Chron. xvi. 28, 29, " Give unto the Loud, ye kindreds of 
the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength ; give unto the Lord the 
glory due unto his name." We have much the same expressions again, Psa). 
xxix. 1, 2, and lxix. 7, 8. See also, Psal. lvii. 5, lxxii. 18, 19, cxv. 1. So the 
whole church of God, through all parts of the earth. Isa. xlii. 10 — 12. In 


like manner the saints and angels in heaven express the piety of their hearts. 
Rev. iv. 9, 11, and v. 11—14, and vii. 12. This is the event that the hearts 
of the seraphim especially exult in, as appears by Isa. vi. 2, 3, " Above it stood 
the seraphim. And one cried unto another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the 
Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory." So at the birth of Christ, 
Luke ii. 14, " Glory to God in the highest," &c. 

It is manifest that these holy persons in earth and heaven, in thus express- 
ing their desires of the glory of God, have respect to it, not merely as a subordi- 
nate end, or merely for the sake of something else; but as that which they look 
upon in itself valuable, and in the highest degree so. It would be absurd to 
say, that in these ardent exclamations, they are only giving vent to their vehement 
benevolence to their fellow creatures, and expressing their earnest desires that 
God might be glorified, that so his subjects may be made happy by the means. 
It is evident it is not so much love, either to themselves, or fellow creatures, 
which they express, as their exalted and supreme regard to the most high and 
infinitely glorious Being. When the church says, " Not unto us, not unto us, 
Jehovah, but to thy name give glory," it would be absurd to say, that she only 
desires that God may have glory, as a necessary or convenient means of their 
own advancement and felicity. From these things it appears, by the eleventh 
position, that God's glory is the end of the creation. 

6. The Scripture leads us to suppose, that Christ sought God's glory, as his 
highest and last end. John vii. 18, " He that speaketh of himself, seeketh his 
own glory ; but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and 
no unrighteousness is in him." When Christ says, he did not seek his own 
glory, we cannot reasonably understand him, that he had no regard to his own 
glory, even the glory of the human nature ; for the glory of that nature was part 
of the reward promised him, and of the joy set before him. But we must un- 
derstand him, that this was not his ultimate aim ; it was not the end that chiefly 
governed his conduct ; and therefore when, in opposition to this, in the latter 
part of the sentence, he says, " But he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the 
same is true," &c, it is natural from the antithesis to understand him, that this 
was his ultimate aim, his supreme governing end. John xii. 27, 28, " Now 
is my soul troubled, and what shall I say ? Father, save me from this hour : 
but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name." Christ 
was now going to Jerusalem, and expected in a few days there to be crucified , 
and the prospect of his last sufferings, in this near approach, was very terrible 
to him. Under this distress of mind, in so terrible a view, he supports himself 
with a prospect of what would be the consequence of his sufferings, viz., God's 
glory. Now, it is the end that supports the agent in any difficult work that 
he undertakes, and above all others, his ultimate and supreme end. For this is 
above all others valuable in his eyes ; and so, sufficient to countervail the diffi- 
culty of the means. That is, the end, which is in itself agreeable and sweet to 
him, which ultimately terminates his desires, is the centre of rest and support ; 
and so must be the fountain and sum of all the delight and comfort he has in his 
prospects, with respect to his work. Now Christ has his soul straitened and 
distressed with a view of that which was infinitely the most difficult part of his 
work, which was just at hand. Now certainly if his mind seeks support in the 
conflict from a view of his end, it must most naturally repair to the highest end, 
which is the proper fountain of all support in this case. We may well suppose, 
that when his soul conflicts with the appearance of the most extreme difficulties, 
it would resort for support to the idea of his supreme and ultimate end, the foun- 
tain of all the support and comfort he has in the means, or the work. The same 


thing, viz., Christ's seeding the glory of God as his ultimate end, is manifest by 
what Christ says, when he comes yet nearer to the hour of his last sufferings, in 
that remarkable prayer, the last he ever made with his disciples, on the evening 
before his crucifixion ; wherein he expresses the sum of his aims and desires. His 
first words are, " Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may 
glorify thee." As this is his first request, we may suppose it to be his supreme 
request and desire, and what he ultimately aimed at in all. If we consider what 
follows to the end, all the rest that is said in the prayer, seems to be but an ampli- 
fication of this great request. 

On the whole, I think it is pretty manifest, that Jesus Christ soughx 
the glory of God as his highest and last end ; and that therefore, by position 
twelfth, this was God's last end in the creation of the world. 

7. It is manifest from Scripture, that God's glory is the last end of that great 
work of providence, the work of redemption by Jesus Christ. This is manifest 
from what is just now observed, of its being the end ultimately sought by Jesus 
Christ the Redeemer. And if we further consider the texts mentioned in the 
proof of that, and take notice of the context, it will be very evident, that it was 
what Christ sought as his last end, in that great work which he came into the 
world upon, viz., to procure redemption for his people. It is manifest that Christ 
professes in John vii. 18, that he did not seek his own glory in what he did, but 
the glory of him that sent him. He means that he did not seek his own glory, 
but the glory of him that sent him, in the work of his ministry ; the work he 
performed, and which he came into the world to perform, and which his Fathei 
sent him to work out, which is the work of redemption. And with respect .to 
that text, John xii. 27, 28, it has been already observed, that Christ comforted 
himself in the view of the extreme difficulty of his work, which was the work 
of redemption, in the prospect of that which he had respect to, and rejoiced in, 
as the highest, ultimate and most valuable excellent end of that work, which he 
set his heart upon, and delighted most in. And in the answer that the Father 
made him from heaven at that time, in the latter part of the same verse, " I have 
both glorified it, and will glorify it again," the meaning plainly is, that God had 
glorified his name in what Christ had done, in the work he sent him upon, and 
would glorify it again, and to a greater degree, in what he should further do, 
and in the success thereof. Christ shows that he, understood it thus, in what he 
says upon it, when the people took notice of it, wondering at the voice ; some 
saying, that it thundered, others, that an angel spake to him. Christ says, 
" This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes." And then he says 
(exulting in the prospect of this glorious end and success), " Now is the judgment 
of this world ; now is the prince of this world cast out, and I, if I be lifted up 
from the earth, will draw all men unto me." In the success of the same work 
of redemption, he places his own glory, as was observed before, in these words, 
in the 23d and 24th verses of the same chapter : " The hour is come, that the 
Son of Man should be glorified. Verily, verily I say unto you, except a corn of 
wheat fall into the ground, it abideth alone ; but if it die, it bringeth forth much 

So it is manifest that when he seeks his own and his Father's glory, in that 
prayer, John xvii. (which, it has been observed, he then seeks as his last end), 
he seeks it as the end of that great work he came into the world upon, which 
he is now about to finish in his death. What follows through the whole pray- 
er, plainly shows this ; and particularly the 4th and 5th verses. " I have 
glorified thee on the earth : I have finished the work which thou gavest me to 
do. And now, Father, glorify thou me with thine own self." Here it is 


pretty plain that declaring to his Father, that he had glorified him on earth, and 
finished the work God gave him to do, meant that he had finished the work 
which God gave him to do for this end, viz., that he might be glorified He 
had now finished that foundation that he came into the world to lay for his 
glory. He had laid a foundation for his Father's obtaining his will, and the 
utmost that he designed. By which it is manifest, that God's glory was the 
utmost of his design, or his ultimate end in this great work. 

And it is manifest by John xiii. 31, 32, that the glory of the Father, and his 
own glory, are what Christ exulted in, in the prospect of his approaching suf- 
ferings, when Judas was gone out to betray him, as the end his heart was main- 
ly set upon, and supremely delighted in. " Therefore when he was gone out, 
Jesus said, Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If 
God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straight- 
way glorify him." 

That the glory of God is the highest and last end of the work of redemption, 
is confirmed by the song of the angels at Christ's birth. Luke ii. 14, " Glory 
to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and good will towards men." It 
must be supposed that they knew what was God's last end in sending Christ into 
the world : and that in their rejoicing on the occasion of his incarnation, their 
minds would be most taken up with, and would most rejoice in that which was 
most valuable and glorious in it ; which must consist in 'its relation to that 
which was its chief and ultimate end. And we may further suppose, that the 
thing which chiefly engaged their minds, as what was most glorious and joyful 
in the affair, is what would be first expressed in that song which was to express 
the sentiments of their minds, and exultation of their hearts. 

The glory of the Father and the Son is spoken of as the end of the work of 
redemption, in Phil. ii. 6 — 11, very much in the same manner as in John xii. 
23, 28, and xiii. 31, 32, and xvii. 1, 4, 5, " Who being in the form of God, 
made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and 
was made in the likeness of men ; and being found in fashion as a man, he hum- 
bled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross : 
wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name, &c, that 
at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue confess, that 
Jesus is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father" So God's glory, or the 
praise of his glory, is spoken of as the end of the work of redemption, in Eph. 
i. 3, &c, " Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath 
blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ : according 
as he hath chosen us in him. — Having predestinated us to the adoption of chil- 
dren — to the praise of the glory of his grace." And in the continuance of the 
same discourse concerning the redemption of Christ, in what follows in the 
same chapter, God's glory is once and again mentioned as the great end of all. 
Several things belonging to that great redemption are mentioned in the following 
verses ; such as God's great wisdom in it, verse 8. The clearness of light grant- 
ed through Christ, verse 9. God's gathering together in one, all things in 
heaven and earth in Christ, verse 10. God's giving the Christians that were 
first converted to the Christian faith from among the Jews, an interest in this 
great redemption, verse 11. Then the great end is added, verse 12. "That 
we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ." And then 
is mentioned the bestowing of the same great salvation on the Gentiles, in its 
beginning or first fruits in the world, and in the completing it in another 
world, in the two next verses. And then the same great end is added again : 
" In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel oi 
Vol. II. 30 


your salvation; in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the 
Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemp- 
tion of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory" The same 
thing is expressed much in the same manner, in 2 Cor. iv. 14, 15, " He which 
raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us 
with you. For all things are for your sake, that the abundance of grace might 
through the thanksgiving of many, redound to the glory of God." 

The same is spoken of as the end of the work of redemption in the Old Tes- 
tament. Psal. lxxix. 9, " Help us, God of our salvation, for the glory of thy 
name ; deliver us and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake." So in the 
prophecies of the redemption of Jesus Christ. Isa. xliv. 23, " Sing, ye hea- 
vens ; for the Lord hath done it ; shout, ye lower parts of the earth : break forth 
into singing, ye mountains, forest, and every tree therein ; for the Lord hath 
redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel." Thus the works of creation 
are called upon to rejoice at the attaining of the same end, by the redemption of 
God's people, that the angels rejoiced at, when Christ was born. See also 
chap, xlviii. 10, 11, and xliv. 3. 

Thus it is evident that the glory of God is the ultimate end of the work of 
redemption, — which is the chief work of providence towards the moral world, 
as is abundantly manifest from Scripture : the whole universe being put in sub- 
jection to Jesus Chpist ; all heaven and earth, angels and men being subject to 
nim, as executing this office ; and put under him to that end, that all things may 
be ordered by him, in subservience to the great designs of his redemption ; all 
power, as he says, being given to him, in heaven and in earth, that he may give 
eternal life to as many as the Father has given him ; and he, being exalted far 
above all principality, and power, and might and dominion, and made head over 
all things to the church. The angels being put in subjection to him, that he 
may employ them all as ministering spirits, for the good of them that shall be 
the heirs of his salvation ; and all things being so governed by their Redeemer 
, for them that all things are theirs, whether things present or things to come ; 
and all God's works of providence in the' moral government of the world, which 
we have an account of in Scripture history, or that are foretold in Scripture pro- 
phecy, being evidently subordinate to the great purposes and ends of this great 
work. And besides, the w T ork of redemption is that work, by which good men 
are, as it were, created, or brought into being, as good men, or as restored to 
holiness and happiness. The work of redemption is a new creation, according 
to Scripture representation, whereby men are brought into a new existence, or 
are made new creatures. 

From these things it follows, according to the 5th, 6th and 7th positions, 
that the glory of God is the last end of the creation of .the world. 

8. The Scripture leads us to suppose, that God's glory is his last end in his 
moral government of the world in general. This has been already shown 
concerning several things that belong to God's moral government of the world. 
As particularly, in the work of redemption, the chief of all his dispensations, 
in his moral government of the world. And I have also observed it, with 
respect to the duty which God requires of the subjects of his moral government, 
in requiring them to seek his glory as their last end. And this is actually the 
last end of the moral goodness required of them ; the end which gives their 
moral goodness its chief value. And also, that it is what that person which 
God has set at the head of the moral world, as its chief governor, even Jesus 
Christ, seeks as his chief end. And it has been shown, that it is the chief end 
for which that part of the moral world which are good, are made, or have theii 


existence as good. * now further observe, that this is the end of the establish- 
ment of the public worship and ordinances of God among mankind. Hag. 
i. 8, " Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house ; and I will 
take pleasure in it, and I will be GLoniFiDE,saith the Loan." This is spoken of 
as the end of God's promises of rewards, and of their fulfilment. 2 Cor. i. 20, 
" For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him amen, to the glory 
of God by us." And this is spoken of as the end of the execution of God's 
threatenings, in the punishment of sin. Num. xiv. 20 — 23, U And the Loud 
said, I have pardoned according to thy word. But as truly as I live, all the 
earth shall be filled with the glory of Jehovah. Because all these men, &c. — 
Surely they shall not see the land." The glory of Jehovah is evidently here 
spoken of, as that which he had regard to, as his highest and ultimate end ; 
which, therefore, he could not fail of ; but must take place everywhere, and in 
every case, through all parts of his dominion, whatever became of men. And 
whatever abatements might be made, as to judgments deserved ; and whatever 
changes might be made in the course of God's proceedings, from compassion to 
sinners ; yet the attaining of God's glory was an end, which being ultimate and 
supreme, must in no case whatsoever give place. This is spoken of as the end 
of God's executing judgments on his enemies in this world. Exod. xiv. 17, 18, 
" And I will get me honor (Ikhabhedha, I will be glorified) upon Pharaoh, and 
upon all his host," &c. Ezek. xxviii. 22, " Thus saith the Lord God, Behold 
I am against thee, O Zion, and I will be glorified in the midst of thee : and 
they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall have executed judgments in 
her, and shall be sanctified in her." So Ezek. xxxix. 13, " Yea, all the 
people of the land shall bury them : and it shall be to them a renown, the day 
that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord God." 

And this is spoken of as the end, both of the executions of wrath, and in 
the glorious exercises of mercy, in the misery and happiness of another world. 
Rom. ix. 22, 23, " What if God, willing to show his wrath, and make his 
power known, endured with much long-suffering, the vessels of wrath fitted to 
destruction ; and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the 
vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory." And this is spoken 
of as the end of the day of judgment, which is the time appointed for the 
highest exercises of God's authority as moral governor of the world ; and is, as 
it were, the day of the consummation of God's moral government, with respect 
to all his subjects in heaven, earth and hell. 2 Thess. i. 9, 10, " Who shall 
be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and 
from the glory of his power ; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and 
to be admired in all them that believe." Then his glory shall be obtained, with 
respect both to saints and sinners. 

From these things it is manifest by the fourth position, that God's glory is 
the ultimate end of the creation of the world. 

9. It appears from what has been already observed, that the glory of God is 
spoken of in Scripture as the last end of many of God's works ; and it is plain 
that this thing is in fact the issue and result of the works of God's common 
providence, and of the creation of the world. Let us take God's glory in what 
sense soever, consistent with its being something brought to pass, or a good at- 
tained by any work of God, certainly it is the consequence of these works ; and 
besides it is expressly so spoken of in Scripture. This is implied in Psalm viii. 1, 
wherein are celebrated the works of creation ; the heavens being the works of 
God's fingers ; the moon and the stars being ordained by God, and God's making 
man a little lower than the angels, &c. The first verse is, " Lord, our Lord, 


how excellent is thy name in all the earth ! Who hast set thy glory above the 
heavens," or upon the heavens. By name and glory, very much the same 
thing is intended here as in many other places, as shall be particularly shown 
afterwards. So the Psalm concludes as it began : " O Lord, our Lord, how 
excellent is thy name in all the earth !" So in Psalm cxlviii., after a particular 
mention of the works of creation, enumeratingthem in order, the Psalmist says, 
verse 13, " Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is excel- 
lent, his glory is above the earth and the heaven." And in Psalm civ. 31, after 
a very particular, orderly, and magnificent representation of God's works of 
creation and common providence, it is said, " The glory of the Lord shall endure 
forever ; the Lord shall rejoice in his works." Here God's glory is spoken of 
as the grand result and blessed consequence of all these works, which God values, 
and on account of which he rejoices in these works. And this is one thing 
doubtless implied in the song of the seraphim, Isaiah vi. 3 : " Holy, holy, holy 
is the Lord of Hosts ! The whole earth is full of his glory." 

The glory of God, in being the result and consequence of those works of 
providence that have been mentioned, is in fact the consequence of the creation. 
The good attained in the use of a thing made for use, is the result of the making 
of that thing, as the signifying the time of day, when actually attained by the 
use of a watch, is the consequence of the making of the watch. So that it is 
apparent that the glory of God is a thing that is actually the result and con- 
sequence of the creation of the world. And from what has been already observed, 
it appears, that it is what God seeks as good, valuable and excellent in itself. 
And I presume, none will pretend that there is any thing peculiar in the nature 
of the case, rendering it a thing valuable in some of the instances wherein it 
takes place, and not in others ; or that the glory of God, though indeed an 
effect of all God's works, is an exceeding desirable effect of some of them ; but 
of others a worthless and insignificant effect. God's glory therefore, must be a 
desirable, valuable consequence of the work of creation. Yea, it is expressly 
spoken of in Psalm civ. 3, (as was observed), as an effect, on account of which, 
God rejoices and takes pleasure in the works of creation. 

Therefore it is manifest by Position 3d, that the glory of God is an ultimate 
end in the creation of the world. 


Places of Scripture that lead us to suppose, that God created, the World for his Name, 
to make his perfections known, and that he made it for his Praise. 

Here I shall first take notice of some passages of Scripture, that speak of 
God's name as being made God's end, or the object of his regard, and the re- 
gard of his virtuous and holy, intelligent creatures, much in the same manner 
as has been observed of God's glory. 

As particularly, God's name is in like manner spoken of, as the end of his 
acts of goodness towards the good part of the moral world, and of his works 
of mercy and salvation towards his people. As 1 Sam. xii. 22, " The Lord 
will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake." Psalm xxiii. 3, " He 
restoreth my soul, he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, for his name's 
sake." Psalm xxxi. 3, " For thy name's sake, lead me and guide me." Psalm 


cix. 21, " But do thou for me for thy name's sake." The forgiveness of 

sin in particular, is often spoken of as being for God's name's sake. 1 John 
li. 12, " I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for 
his name's sake." Psalm xxv. 11, " For thy name's sake, Lord, pardon mine 
iniquity, for it is great." Psalm lxxix. 9, " Help us, God of our salvation, 
for the glory of thy name, and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy 
name's sake." Jer. xiv. 7, " O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, 
do thou it for thy name's sake." 

These things seem to show, that the salvation of Christ is for God's name's 
sake. Leading and guiding in the way of safety and happiness, restoring the 
soul, the forgiveness of sin, and that help, deliverance and salvation, that is 
consequent thereon, is for God's name. And here it is observable, that those 
two great temporal salvations of God's people, the redemption from Egypt, 
and that from Babylon, that are often represented as figures and similitudes of 
the redemption of Christ, are frequently spoken of as being wrought for God's 
name's sake. So is that great work of God, in delivering his people from 
Egypt, carrying them through the wilderness to their rest in Canaan. 2 Sam. 
vii. 23, " And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, 
whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name." 
Psalm cvi. 8, " Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake." Isaiah lxiii. 
12, " That led them by the right hand of Moses, with his glorious arm, divid- 
ing the waters before them, to make himself an everlasting name." In Ezek. 
xx. God, rehearsing the various parts of this wonderful work, adds from time to 
time, " I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the 
heathen," as in ver. 9, 14, 22. See also Josh. vii. 8, 9, Dan. ix. 15. So is 
the redemption from the Babylonish captivity. Isaiah xlviii. 9, 10, " For my 
name's sake, will I defer mine anger. For mine own sake, even for mine own 
sake will I do it, for how should my name be polluted 1" In Ezek. xxxvi. 21, 
22, 23, the reason is given for God's mercy in restoring Israel : " But I had 

pity for my holy name. Thus saith the Lord, I do not this for your sakes, 

house of Israel, but for my holy name's sake ; and I will sanctify my great 
name, which was profaned among the heathen." And chap, xxxix. 25, " There- 
fore thus saith the Lord God, Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, 
and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my 
holy name." Daniel prays that God would forgive his people, and show them 
mercy for his own sake, Dan. ix. 19. 

When God from time to time speaks of showing mercy, and exercising 
goodness, and promoting his people's happiness for his name's sake, we cannot 
understand it as of a merely subordinate end. How absurd would it be to say, 
■ hat he promotes their happiness for his name's sake, in subordination to their 
good ; and that his name may be exalted only for their sakes, as a means of 
promoting their happiness ; especially when such expressions as these are used : 
" For mine own sake, even for mine own sake will I do it, for how should my 
name be polluted V and " Not for your sakes do I this, but for my holy 
name's sake." 

Again, it is represented as though God's people had their existence, at least 
as God's people, for God's name's sake. God's redeeming or purchasing them, 
that they might be his people, for his name, implies this. As in that passage 
mentioned before, 2 Sam. vii. 23, " Thy people Israel, whom God went to re- 
deem for a people to himself, and to make him a name." So God's making 
them a people for his name, is implied in Jer. xiii. 11, " For as the girdle cleaveth 
to the loins of a man. so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of 


Israel, &c, that they may be unto me for a people, and for a name." Acts 

xv. 14, " Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to 
take out of them a people for his name." 

This also is spoken of as the end of the virtue and religion, and holy behavior 
of the saints. Rom. i. 5, " By whom we have received grace and apostleship, 
for obedience to the faith among all nations for his name." Matth. xix. 29, 

"Every one that forsaketh houses or brethren, &c, for my name's sake, 

shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life." 3 John 7, 
" Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gen- 
tiles." Rev. ii. 3, " And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's 
sake hast labored, and hast not fainted." 

And we find that holy persons express their desire of this, and their joy in 
it, in the same manner as in the glory of God. 2 Sam. vii. 26, " Let thy name 
be magnified forever." Psalm lxxvi. 1, " In Judah is God known : his name 
is great in Israel." Psalm cxlviii. 13, " Let them praise the name of the Lord ; 
for his name alone is excellent! His glory is above the earth and heaven." 
Psalm cxxxv. 13, " Thy name, O Lord, endureth forever, and thy memorial 
throughout all generations." Isaiah xii. 4, " Declare his doings among the 
people, make mention that his name is exalted." 

' The judgments God executes on the wicked, are spoken of as being for the 
sake of his name, in like manner as for his glory. Exod. ix. 16, " And in very 
deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power, and 
that my name may be declared throughout all the earth." Neh. ix. 10, " And 
showedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and all his servants, and on all the 
people of his land ; for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them ; so 
didst thou get thee a name as at this day." 

And this is spoken of as a consequence of the works of creation, in like 
manner as God's glory. Psalm viii. 1, " O Lord, how excellent is thy name in 
all the earth ! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens." And then at the 
conclusion of the observations on the works of creation, the Psalm ends thus, 
verse 9, " O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth !" So 
Psalm cxlviii. 13, after a particular mention of the various works of creation, 
" Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is excellent in all 
the earth, his glory is above the earth and the heaven." 

So we find manifestation, or making known God's perfections, his greatness 
and excellency, is spoken of very much in the same manner as God's glory. 

There are several Scriptures which would lead us to suppose this to be the 
great thing that God sought of the moral world, and the end aimed at in the 
moral agents, which he had created, wherein they are to be active in answering 
their end. This seems implied in that argument God's people sometimes made 
use of, in deprecating a state of death and destruction; that in such a state, they 
cannot know or make known the glorious excellency of God. Psalm lxxxviii. 
18, 19, " Shall thy loving-kindness be declared in the grave, or thy faithfulness 
in destruction ? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark, and thy righteous- 
ness in the land of forgetfulness V So Psalm xxx. 9, Isaiah xxxviii. 18, 19 
The argument seems to be this : Why should we perish ? And how shall thine 
end, for which thou hast made us, be obtained in a state of destruction, in which 
thy glory cannot be known or declared ? 

This is spoken of as the end of the good part of the moral world, or the end 
of God's people, in the same manner as the glory of God. Isaiah xliii. 21, 
" This people have I formed for myself, they shall show forth my praise" 
1 Peter ii. 9, " But ye are a chosen generation, *a royal priesthood, a holy 


nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of him, who hath 
called you out of darkness into marvellous light." 

And this seems to be represented as the ihing wherein the value and proper 
fruit and end of their virtue appear. Isaiah lx. 6 — speaking of the conversion 

of the Gentile nations to true religion — " They shall come and show forth 

the praises of the Lord." Isaiah lxvi. 19, " I will send unto the nations 

and to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my 
glory ; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles." 

And this seems by Scripture representations to be the end, in the desires of 
which, and delight in which appear the proper tendency and rest of true virtue, 
and holy dispositions, much in the same manner as the glory of God. 1 Chron. 
xvi. 8, " Make known his deeds among the people." Ver. 23, 24, " Show forth 
from day to day thy salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen." See 
also, Psalm ix. 1, 11, 14, and xix. 1, and xxvi. 7, and Txxi. 18, and lxxv. 9, 
and lxxvi. 1, and lxxix. 13, and xcvi. 2, 3, and ci. 1, and cvii. 22, and cxviii. 
17, and cxlv. 6, 11, 12, Isaiah xlii. 12, and lxiv. 1, 2, Jer. 1. 10. 

This seems to be spoken of as a great end of the acts of God's moral govern- 
ment ; particularly the great judgments he executes for sin. Exod. ix. 16, 
" And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, to show in thee my 
power, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth." Dan. 

iv. 17, " This matter is by the decree of the watchers, &c., to the intent that 

the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and 
giveth it to whomsoever he will ; and setteth up over it the basest of men." 
But places to this purpose are too numerous to be particularly recited. 

This is also spoken of as a great end of God's works of favor and mercy to 
his people. 2 Kings xix. 19, " Now, therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech 
thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may /mow 

that thou art the Lord God, even thou only." 1 Kings viii. 59, 60, " that 

he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all 
times, as the matter shall require, that all the people of the earth may know that 
the Lord is God, and that there is none else." 

This is spoken of as the end of the eternal damnation of the wicked, and 
also the eternal happiness of the righteous. Rom. ix. 22, 23, " What if God, 
willing to show his wrath, and make his power known, endured with much 
long-suffering, the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction ; and that he might 
make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy which he hath afore 
prepared unto glory ?" 

This is spoken of from time to time, as a great end of the miracles which 
God wrought. See Exod. vii. 17, and viii. 10, and x. 2. Deut. xxix. 5, 6. 
Ezek. xxh\ 27. 

This is spoken of as a great end of ordinances. Exod. xxix. 44, 45, 46, 
" And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation ; I will sanctify also 
both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest's office. And I will 
dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. And they shall 
know that I am the Lord their God," &c. Chap. xxxi. 13, " Verily my Sab- 
baths shall ye keep ; for it is a sign between me and you, throughout your gen- 
erations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you." We 
have again almost the same words, Ezek. xx. 12, 20. 

This is spoken of as a great end of the redemption out of Egypt. Psalm 
cvi. 8, " Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his 
mighty power to be known" See also Exod. vii. 5, and Deut. iv. 34, 35. And 
also of the redemption from the Babylonish captivity. Ezek. xx. 34 — 38, 


" And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the 
countries whither ye are scattered. -And I will bring you into the wilder- 
ness of the people ; and there I will plead with you as I pleaded with your 

fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt. -And I will bring you into 

the bond of the covenant. And I will purge out the rebels and ye shall 

know that I am the Lord." Verse 42, " And ye shall know that I am the Lord, 
when I shall bring you into the land of Israel." Verse 44, " And ye shall know 
that I am the Lord, when I have wrought with you for my name's salce." See 
also chap, xxviii. 25, 26, and xxxvi. 11, and xxxvii. 6 — 13. 

This is also spoken of as a great end of the work of redemption of Jesus 
Christ : both of the purchase of redemption by Christ, and the application of 
redemption. Rom. iii. 25, 26, " Whom God had set forth to be a propitiation 

through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness. To declare, I say, at 

this time his righteousness ; that he might be just, and the justifier of him that 
believeth in Jesus/' Eph. ii. 4 — 7, " But God who is rich in mercy, &c. That 
he might show the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness towards us 
through Jesus Christ." Chap. iii. 8 — 10, " To- preach among the Gentiles the 
unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all men see what is the fellowship 
of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, 
who created all things by Jesus Christ : to the intent that now unto the princi- 
palities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the church the mani- 
fold wisdom of God." Psal. xxii. 21, 22, " Save me from the lion's mouth. I 
will declare thy name unto my brethren : in the midst of the congregation will 
I praise thee," compared with Heb. ii. 12, and John xvii. 26. lsa. lxiv. 1, 2, " 
that thou wouldest rend the heavens to make thy name known to thine ad- 

And it is spoken of as the end of that great actual salvation, which should 
follow Christ's purchase of salvation, both among Jews and Gentiles. Isa. 

xlix. 22, 23, " I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles and they shall bring 

thy sons in their arms -and kings shall be thy nursing fathers and thou 

shalt know that I am the Lord." See also, Ezek. xvi. 62, and xxix. 21, and 
xxxiv. 27, and xxxvi. 38, and xxxix. 28, 29. Joel iii. 17. 

This is spoken of as the end of God's common providence* Job xxxvii. 6, 
7, " For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth. Likewise to the small 
rain, and to the great rain of his strength. He sealeth up the hand of every man, 
that all men may know his work." 

It is spoken of as the end of the day of judgment, that grand consummation 
of God's moral government of the world, and the day for the bringing all things 
to their designed ultimate issue. It is called " The day of the revelation of the 
righteous judgment of God," Rom. ii. 5. 

And the declaration, or openly manifesting God's excellency is spoken of 
as the actual, happy consequence and effect of the work of creation. Psal. xix. 
at the beginning, " The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament 
showeth his handy work. Day unto day uttereth speech, night unto night show- 

eth knowledge. In them hath he placed a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a 

bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run his 
race," &c. 

In like manner, there are many Scriptures that speak of God's praise, 
in many of the forementioned respects, just in the same manner as of his name 
and glory. 

This is spoken of as the end of the being of God's people, in the same manner. 
Jer. xiii. 11, " For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused 


to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel, and the whole house of Judah, 
saith the Lord ; that they might be unto me for a name, and for a praise, and 
fox a glory." 

It is spoken of as the end of the moral world. Matth. xxi. 16, u Out of the 
mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou perfected praise." That is, so hast thou 
in thy sovereignty and wisdom ordered it, that thou shouldest obtain the great 
end for which intelligent creatures are made, more especially from some of them 
that are in themselves weak, or inferior and more insufficient. Compare Psal. 
viii. 1, 2. 

And the same thing that was observed before concerning the making known 
God's excellency, may also be observed concerning God's praise. That it is 
made use of as an argument in deprecating a state of destruction, that in such a 
state this end cannot be answered ; in such a manner as seems to imply its being 
an ultimate end, that God had made man for. Psal. lxxxviii. 10, " Shall the 
dead arise and praise thee ? Shall thy loving-kindness be declared in the grave ? 
Shall thy wonders be known in the dark V Psal. xxx. 9, " What profit is there 
in my blood ? When I go down to the pit, shall the dust praise thee ? Shall it 
declare thy truth ?" Psal. cxv. 17, 18, " The dead praise not the Lord, neither 
any that go down into silence ; but we will bless the Lord, from this time forth 
and forevermore. Praise ye the Lord" Isa. xxxviii. 18, 19, " For the grave 
cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee ; they that go down into the 
pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee" 

It is spoken of as the end of the virtue of God's people, in like manner as is 
God's glory. Phil. i. 11, " Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which 
are by Jesus Christ to the praise and glory of God." 

It is spoken of as the end of the work of redemption. In the first chapter 
of Eph., where that work in the various parts of it is particularly insisted on and 
set forth in its exceeding glory, this is mentioned from time to time as the great 
end of all, that it should be "to the praise of his glory. (As in verses 6, 12, 14.) 
By which we may doubtless understand much the same thing, with that which 
in Phil. i. 11, is expressed, " his praise and glory." Agreeable to this, Jacob's 
fourth son, from whom the Messiah the great Redeemer was to proceed, by the 
spirit of prophecy, or the special direction of God's providence, was called praise, 
with reference to this happy consequence, and glorious end of that great redemp- 
tion, this Messiah, one of his posterity, was to work out. 

This in the Old Testament is spoken of as the end of the forgiveness of the 
sin of God's people, and their salvation, in the same manner as is God's name 
and ^lory. Isa. xlviii. 9, 10, 11, " For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, 
and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold I have 
refined thee, for mine own sake, even for mine own sake will I do it ; for how 
should my name be polluted ? And my glory will I not give to another." Jer. 

xxxiii. 8, 9, "And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity and I will 

pardon all their iniquities. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise, and 

an honor." 

And that the holy part of the moral world, do express desires of this, and 
delight in it, as the end which holy principles in them tend to, reach after, and 
rest fn, in their highest exercises, just in the same manner as the glory of God, 
is abundantly manifest. It would be endless to enumerate particular places 
wherein this appears ; wherein the saints declare this, by expressing their earn- 
est desires of God's praise ; calling on all nations, and all beings in heaven and 
earth to praise him ; in a rapturous manner calling on one another, crying, " Hal- 
lelujah, praise ye the Lord, praise him forever." Expressing their resolutions 

Vol. II 31 


to praise him as long as they live, through all generations, and forever; decid- 
ing how good, how pleasant and comely the praise of God is, &c. 

And it is manifest that God's praise is the desirable and glorious consequence 
and effect of all the works of creation, by such places as these : Psalm cxlv. 
5 — 10, and cxlviii. throughout, and ciii. 19 — 22. 


Place3 of Scripture from whence it may be argued, that communications of good to 
the Creature, was one thing which God had in view, as an Ultimate End of the 
Creation of the World. 

1. According to the Scripture, communicating good to the creatures, is what 
is in itself pleasing to God ; and that this is not merely subordinately agreeable, 
and esteemed valuable on account of its relation to a further end, as it is in exe- 
cuting justice in punishing the sins of men; which God is inclined to as fit and 
necessary in certain cases, and on the account of good ends attained by it ; but 
what God is inclined to on its own account, and what he delights in simply and 
ultimately. For though God is sometimes in Scripture spoken of as taking pleas- 
ure in punishing men's sins, Deut. xxviii. 63, " The Lord will rejoice over you, 
to destroy you ;" Ezek. v. 13, " Then shall mine anger be accomplished, and 

1 will cause my fury to rest upon them, and 1 will be comforted ;" yet God is 
often spoken of as exercising goodness and showing mercy, with delight, in a 
manner quite different, and opposite to that of his executing wrath. For the latter 
is spoken of as what God proceeds to do with backwardness and reluctance ; the 
misery of the creature being not agreeable to him on its own account. Neh. 
ix. 17, " That thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to 
anger, and of great loving-kindness.'' Psal. ciii. 8, " The Lord is merciful, and 
gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy." Psal. cxlv. 8, " The Lord 
is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy." We 
have again almost the same words, Jonah iv. 2, Mic. vii. 10, " Who is a God 
like thee, that pardoneth iniquity, &c. He retaineth not his anger forever, be- 
cause he delighteth in mercy." Ezek. xviii. 32, " I have no pleasure in the 
death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God ; wherefore turn yourselves, and live 
ye." Lam. hi. 33, " He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of 
men." Ezek. xxxiii. 11, " As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure 
in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live : 
Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways, for why will ye die, house of Israel V* 

2 Pet. iii. 9, " Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to 

2. The' work of redemption wrought out by Jesus Christ, is spoken of in 
such a manner as being from the grace and love of God to men, that does not 
well consist with his seeking a communication of good to them, only subordi- 
nately, i. e., not at all from any inclination to their good directly, or delight in 
giving happiness to them, simply and ultimately considered ; but only indif ectly, 
and wholly from a regard to something entirely diverse, which it is a means of. 
Such expressions as that in John iii. 16, carry another idea : " God so loved 
the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, 
should not perish, but have everlasting life." And 1 John iv. 9. 10, " In this 
was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only be- 


gotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love ; 
not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation 
for our sins." So Eph. ii. 4, " But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great 
love wherewith he loved us," &c. But if indeed this was only from love to 
something else, and a regard to a further end, entirely diverse from our good ; 
then all the love is truly terminated in that, its ultimate object ! And God's 
love consists in regard towards that ; and therein is God's love, and therein if 
his love manifested, strictly and properly speaking, and not in that he loved us. 
or exercised such high regard towards us. For if our good be not at all regard- 
ed ultimately, but only subordinately, then our good or interest is, in itself con- 
sidered, nothing in God's regard or love : God's respect is all terminated upon, 
and swallowed up in something diverse, which is the end, and not in the means. 

So the Scripture everywhere represents concerning Christ, as though the 
great things that he did and suffered, were in the most direct and proper sense, 
from exceeding love to us ; and not as one may show kindness to a person, to 
whose interest, simply and in itself considered, he is entirely indifferent, only as 
it may be a means of promoting the interest of another (that is indeed directly 
regarded) which is connected with it. Thus the Apostle Paul represents the 
matter, Gal. ii. 20, " Who loved me, and gave himself for me." Eph. v. 25, 
" Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself 
for it." And Christ himself, John xvii. 19, " For their sakes I sanctify myself." 
And the Scripture represents Christ as resting in the salvation and glory of his 
people, when obtained, as in what he ultimately sought, as having therein 
reached the goal at the end of his race ; obtained the prize he aimed at ; enjoy- 
ing the travail of his soul, in which he is satisfied, as the recompense of his labors 
and extreme agonies. Isa. liii. 10, 11, " When thou shalt make his soul an of- 
fering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure 
of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, 
and shall be satisfied ; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, 
for he shall bear their iniquities." He sees the travail of his soul, in seeing his 
seed, the children brought forth in the issue of his travail. This implies that 
Christ has his delight, most truly and properly, in obtaining the salvation of his 
church, not merely as a means conducing to the thing which terminates his de- 
light and joy ; but as what he rejoices and is satisfied in, most directly and pro- 
perly ; as do those Scriptures, which represent him as rejoicing in his obtaining 
this fruit of his labor and purchase, as the bridegroom, when he obtains his bride. 
Isa. lxii. 5, " As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice 
over thee." And how emphatical and strong to the purpose, are the expres- 
sions in Zeph. iii. 17, " The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty ; he 
will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy ; he will rest in his love, he will re- 
joice over thee with singing." The same thing may be argued from Prov. viii. 
30, 31, " Then was I by him, as one brought up with him ; and I was daily his 
delight, rejoicing always before him ; rejoicing in the habitable part of his 
earth, and my delights were with the sons of men." And from those places 
that speak of the saints as God's portion, his jewels and peculiar treasure. These 
things are abundantly confirmed by what is related, John xii. 23 — 32. But 
the particular consideration of what may be observed to the present purpose, in 
that passage of Scripture, may be referred to the next section. 

3. The communications of divine goodness, particularly forgiveness of sin, 
and salvation, are here spoken of from time to time, as being for God's goodness' 
sake, and for his mercy's sake, just in the same manner as they are spoken of, 
as being for God's name's sake, in places observed before. Psal. xxv, 7 " Re- 


member not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions : according to thy mer- 
cy remember thou me, for thy goodness* sake, Lord." In the 11th verse the 
Psalmist says, " For thy name's sate, Lord, pardon mine iniquity." Neh. 
IX. 31, " Nevertheless, for thy great mercy \s sake, thou hast not utterly con- 
sumed them, nor forsaken them ; for thou art a gracious and a merciful God." 
Psal. vi. 4, " Return, Lord, deliver my soul : O save me for thy mercy's 
sake." Psal. xxxi. 16, " Make thy face to shine upon thy servant : save me 
for thy mercy's sake" Psal. xliv. 26, " Arise for our help ; redeem us for 
thy mercy's sake." And here it may be observed, after what a remarkable 
manner God speaks of his love to the children of Israel in the wilderness, as 
though his love were for love's sake, and his goodness were its own end and 
motive. Deut. vii. 7, 8, " The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose 
you because ye were more in number than any people, for ye were the fewest 
of all people ; but because the Lord loved you" 

4. That the government of the world in all parts of it, is for the good of such 
as are to be the eternal subjects of God's goodness, is implied in what the Scrip- 
ture teaches us of Christ's being set at God's right hand, made king of angels 
and men ; set at the head of the universe, having all power given him in heaven 
and earth to that end, that he may promote their happiness ; being made head 
over ali things to the church, and having the government of the whole creation 
for their good.* Christ mentions it (Mark ii. 28) as the reason why the 
Son of Man is made Lord of the Sabbath, that " the Sabbath was made for man." 
And if so, we may in like manner argue, that all things were made for man, 
that the Son of Man is made Lord of all things. 

5. That God uses the whole creation, in his whole government of it, for the 
good of his people, is most elegantly represented in Deut. xxxiii. 26 : " There is 
none like the God of Jeshurun, who rideth on the heavens in thine help, and in 
his excellency on the sky." The whole universe is a machine, which God hath 
made for his own use, to be his chariot for him to ride in ; as is represented in 
Ezekiel's vision. In this chariot, God's seat or throne is heaven, where he sits, 
who uses, and governs, and rides in this chariot, Ezek. i. 22, 26, 27, 28. The 
inferior part of the creation, this visible universe, subject to such continual 
changes and revolutions, are the wheels of the chariot, under the place of the 
seat of him who rides in this chariot. God's providence in the constant revo- 
lutions, and alterations, and successive events, is represented by the motion of 
the wheels of the chariot, by the spirit of him who sits in his throne on the 
heavens, or above the firmament. - Moses tells us for whose sake it is that God 
moves the wheels of this chariot, or rides in it sitting in his heavenly seat ; and 
to what end he is making his progress, or goes his appointed journey in it, viz., 
the salvation of his people. 

6. God's judgments on the wicked in this world, and also their eternal dam- 
nation in the world to come, are spoken of as being for the happiness of God's 
people. So are his judgments on them in this world. Isaiah xliri. 3, 4, " For 
I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour. I gave Egypt 
for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou hast been precious in 
my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee ; therefore will I 
give men for thee, and people for thy life." So the works of God's vindictive 
justice and wrath, are spoken of as works of mercy to his people, Psalm cxxxvi. 
10, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20. And so is their eternal damnation in another world. 
Rom. ix. 22, 23, " What if God, willing to show his wrath and make his power 

* Eph. i. 20—23. John. xvii. 2. Matth. xi. 27, and xxviii. 18, 19. John iii. 35. 



known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to de- 
struction ; and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels 
of mercy, which he had afore prepared Unto glory i" Here it is evident the last 
verse comes in, in connection with the foregoing, as giving another reason of the 
destruction of the wicked, viz., the showing the riches of his glory on the vessels 
of mercy ; in higher degrees of their glory and happiness, in an advancement of 
their relish of their own enjoyments and greater sense of their value, and of 
God's free grace in the bestowment. 

7. It seems to argue that God's goodness to them who are to be the eternal 
subjects of his goodness, is the end of the creation, that the whole creation, in 
all parts of it, and all God's disposals of it, is spoken of as theirs. 1 Cor. iii. 
22, 23, " A]] things are yours ; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the 
world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours." The 
terms are very universal ; and both works of creation and providence are men- 
tioned ; and it is manifestly the design of the apostle to be understood of every 
work of God whatsoever. Now, how can we understand this any otherwise, 
than that all things are for their benefit ; and that God made and uses all for 
their good ? 

8. All God's works, both his works of creation and providence, are repre- 
sented as works of goodness or mercy to his people in Psal. cxxxvi. His won- 
derful works in general : verse 4, " To him who alone doth great wonders ; for 
his mercy endureth forever." The works of creation in all parts of it : verses 
5 — 9, " To him that by wisdom made the heavens, for his mercy endureth for- 
ever. To him that stretched out the earth above the waters, for his mercy en- 
dureth forever. To him that made great lights, for his mercy endureth forever. 
The sun to rule by day, for his mercy endureth forever. The moon and stars to 
rule by night, for his mercy endureth forever." And God's works of providence, 
in the following part of the Psalm. 

9. That expression in the blessed sentence pronounced on the righteous at 
the day of judgment, " Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the founda- 
tion of the world," seems to hold forth as much, as that the eternal expressions 
and fruits of God's goodness to them, was God's end in creating the world, and 
in his providential disposals ever since the creation : that God, in all his works, 
in laying the foundation of the world, and ever since the foundation of it, had 
been preparing this kingdom and glory for them. 

« 10. Agreeable to this, the good of men is spoken of as an ultimate end of 
the virtue of the moral world. Rom. xiii. 8, 9, 10, " He that loveth another 
hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shall 
not kill, &c. — And if there be any other commandment, it is briefly compre- 
hended in this saying, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh 
no ill to his neighbor ; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.''' Gal. v. 14, 
" All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neigh- 
bor as thyself." James ii. 8, " If ye fulfil the royal law according to the 
Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, thou shalt do well." 

If the good of the creature be one end of God in all things he does ; and so 
be one end of all things that he requires moral agents to do ; and an end they 
should have respect to in all that they do, and which they should regulate all 
parts of their conduct by ; these things may be easily explained ; but otherwise 
it seems difficult to be accounted for, that the Holy Ghost should thus express 
himself from time to time. The Scripture represents it to be the spirit of all 
true saints, to prefer the welfare of God's people to their chief joy. And this 
<vas the spirit of Moses and the prophets of old ; and the good of God's church 


was an end they regulate: all their conduct by. And so it was with the apos- 
tles. 2 Cor. iv. 15, "For all things are for your sakes." 2 Tim. ii. 10, " I 
endure all things for the elect's sake, that they may also obtain the salvation 
which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory." And the Scriptures represent as 
though every Christian shculd in all things he does be employed for the good of 
God's church, as each particular member of the body is, in all things, employed 
for the good of the body. Rom. xii. 4, 5, &c. Eph. iv. 15, 16. 1 Cor. xii. 
12, 25, to the end ; together with the whole of the next chapter. To this end 
the Scripture teaches us the angels are continually employed, Heb. i. 14. 


Wherein it is considered what is meant by the Glory of God, and the name of God in 
Scripture, when spoken of as God's end in his works. 

Having thus considered what things are spoken of in the holy Scriptures, as 
the ends of God's works ; and in such a manner as justly to lead us to suppose, 
they were the ends which God had ultimately in view, in the creation of the 
world : I now proceed particularly to inquire concerning some of these things, 
what they are, and how the terms are to be understood. 

I begin first, with the glory of God. 

And here I might observe, that the phrase, the glory of God, is sometimes 
manifestly used to signify the second person in the Trinity. But it is not neces- 
sary at this time to consider that matter, or stand to prove it from particular 
passages of Scripture. Omitting this, therefore, I proceed to observe concerning 
the Hebrew word Cabhodh, which is the word most commonly used in the Old 
Testament where we have the word glory in the English Bible. The root 
which it comes from is either the verb Cabhadh, which signifies to be heavy, or 
make heavy, or from the adjective Cabhedh, which signifies heavy or weighty. 
These, as seems pretty manifest, are the primary significations of these words, 
though they have also other meanings, which seem to be derivative. The noun 
Cobhedh signifies gravity, heaviness, greatness, and abundance. Of very many 
places it will be sufficient to name a few. Prov. xxvii. 3. 2 Sam. xiv. 26. 
1 Kings. xii. 11. Psalm xxxviii. 4. Isaiah xxx. 27. And as the weight of 
bodies arises from two things, viz., solidity or density, or specific gravity, as it 
is called, and their magnitude ; so we find the word Cabhedh used to signify 
dense, as in Exod. xix. 16. Gnanatz Cobhedh, a dense cloud. And it is very 
often used for great. Isaiah xxxii. 2. Gen. v. 9. 1 Kings x. 2. 2 Kings 
vi. 14, and xviii. 17. Isaiah xxxvi. 2, and other places. 

The word Cabhodh, which is commonly translated glory, is used in such a 
manner as might be expected from this signification of the words from whence 
it comes. Sometimes it is used to signify what is internal, what is within the 
being or person, inherent in the subject, or what is in the possession of the per- 
son ; and sometimes for emanation, exhibition or communication of this internal 
glory ; and sometimes for the knowledge or sense, or effect of these, in those 
who behold it, to whom the exhibition or communication is made ; or an ex- 
pression of this knowledge, or sense, or effect. And here I would note, that 
agreeable to the use of the word Cabhodh, in the Old Testament, is that of the 
word Doxa in the new. For, as the word Cabhodh is generally translated by 
Doxa in the Septuagint ; so it is apparent, that this word is designed to be used 
to signify the same thing in the New Testament, with Cabhodh in the Old 


This might be abundantly proved by comparing particulai places of the Old 
Testament ; but probably it will not be denied. 

I therefore proceed particularly to consider these words, with regard to their 
use in Scripture, in each of the forementioned ways. 

1. As to internal glory. When the word is used to signify what is within, 
inherent, or in the possession of the subject, it very commonly signifies excellency, 
or great valuableness, dignity, or worthiness, or regard. This, according to the 
Hebrew idiom, is, as it were, the weight of a thing, as that by which it is heavy ; 
as to be light, is to be worthless, without value, contemptible. Numb. xxi. 5, 
" This light bread." 1 Sam. xviii. 23, " Seemeth it a light thing." Judges 
ix. 4, " Light persons," i. e. worthless, vain, vile persons. So Zeph. iii. 4. To 
set light is to despise, 2 Sam. xix. 43. Belshazzar's vileness in the sight of 
God, is represented by his being Tekel, weighed in the balances and found light, 
Dan. v. 27. And as the weight of a thing arises from these two things, its 
magnitude, and its specific gravity conjunctly, so the word glory is very com- 
monly used to signify the excellency of a person or thing, as consisting either 
in greatness, or in beauty, or as it were, preciousness, or in both conjunctly ; as 
will abundantly appear by Exod. xvi. 7, and xxviii. 2, 40, and iii. 8, and many 
other places. 

Sometimes that internal, great, and excellent good, which is called glory, is 
rather in possession than inherent. Any one may be called heavy, that possesses 
an abundance ; and he that is empty and destitute, may be called light. Thus 
we find riches is sometimes called glory. Gen. xxxi. 1, " And of that which 
was our fathers, hath he gotten ail this glory." Esth. v. 11, " Haman told 
them of the glory of his riches." Psal. xlix. 16, 17, " Be not afraid, when one is 
made rich, when the glory of his house is increased. For when he dieth, he 
shall carry nothing away, his glory shall not descend after him." Nah. ii. 9, 
" Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold ; for there is none end of the 
store and glory out of the pleasant furniture." 

And it is often put for a great height of happiness and prosperity, and 
fulness of good in general. Gen. xlv. 13, " You shall tell my father of all my 
glory in Egypt." Job xix. 9, " He hath stript me of my glory." Isaiah x. 3, 
" Where will you leave your glory V Verse 10, " Therefore shall the Lord of 
Hosts send among his fat ones leanness, and under his glory shall he kindle a 
burning, like the burning of a fire." Isaiah xvii. 3, 4, " The kingdom shall 
cease from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria ; they shall be as the glory of 
the children of Israel. And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of 
Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall be made lean." 
Isaiah xxi. 16," And all the glory of Kedar shall fail." Isaiah Ixi. 6, "Ye 
shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves." 
Chap. lxvi. 11, 12, " That ye may milk out and be delighted with the abund- 
ance of her glory. 1 will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of 

the Gentiles like a flowing stream." Hos. ix. 11, "As for Ephraim, their 
glory shall fly away as a bird." Matth. iv. 8, " Showeth him all the kingdoms 
of the world, and the glory of them." Luke xxiv. 26, " Ought not Christ to 
have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory ?" John xvii. 27, " And 
the glory which thou gavest me, have I given them." Rom. v. 2, " And rejoice 
in hope of the glory of God." Chap. viii. 18, " The sufferings of ,this present 
time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in 
us." See also chap. ii. 7, 10, and iii. 23, and ix. 23. 1 Cor. ii. 7, " The hid- 
den wisdom which God ordained before the world, unto our glory." 2 Cor. iv. 
17, " Worketh out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of 


glory." Eph. i. 18, " And what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in 
the saints." 1 Pet. iv. 13, " But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are made partakers of 
Christ's sufferings ; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also 
with exceeding joy." Chap. i. 8, " Ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of 
glory." See also Colos. i. 27, and iii. 4, and many other places. 

2. The word glory is used in Scripture often to express the exhibition, emana- 
tion, or communication of the internal glory. Hence it often signifies a visible 
exhibition of glory ; as in an effulgence or shining brightness, by an emanation 
of beams of light. Thus the brightness of the sun, and moon, and stars is 
called their glory in 1 Cor. xv. 41. But in particular, the word is very often 
thus used, when applied to God and Christ. As in Ezek. i. 28, " As the 
appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the ap- 
pearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the 
likeness of the glory of the Lord." And chap. x. 4, " Then the glory of the 
Lord went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house, and 
the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of 
the Lord's glory." Isaiah vi. 1, 2, 3, " I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne 
high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim. 
And one cried to another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts, the 
whole earth is full of his glory ;" compared with John xii. 4, " These things 
said Esaias, when he saw his glory and spake of him." Ezek. xliii. 2, " And 
behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east — and the 
earth skined with his glory." Isaiah xxiv. 23, " Then the moon shall be con 
founded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of Hosts shall reign in Mount 
Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously." Isaiah lx. 1, 2, 
" Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. 
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people ; 
but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee." 
Together with verse 19 : " The sun shall be no more thy light by day, neithei 
for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee ; but the Lord shall be unto 
thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory." Luke ii. 9, " The glory of 
the Lord shone round about them." Acts xxii. 11, "And when I could not 
see, for the glory of that light." In 2 Cor. iii. 7, the shining of Moses's face 
is called the glory of his countenance. And to this Christ's glory is compared, 
verse 18, " But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the 
Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory." And so chap, 
iv. 4 : " Lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of 
God, should shine unto them." ■ Verse 6, " For God, who commanded the light 
to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the know- 
ledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." Heb. i. 3, " Who is 
the brightness of his glory." The Apostle Peter, speaking of that emanation 
of exceeding brightness, from the bright cloud that overshadowed the disciples, 
in the mount of transfiguration, and of the shining of Christ's face at that time, 
says, 2 Pet. i. 17, "For he received from* God the Father, honor and glory, 
when thece came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my be- 
loved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Rev. xviii. 1, " Another angel came 
down from heaven, having great power, and the earth was lightened with his 
glory." Rev. xxi. 1 1, "Having the glory of God, and her light was like unto 
a stone most precious, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal." Verse 23, " And 
the city had no need of the sun, nor of the moon to shine in it ; for the glory 
of God did lighten it." So the word for a visible effulgence or emanation of 


light in the places to be seen in Exod. xvi. 12, and xxiv. 16, 17, 23, and xl. 34, 
35, and many other places. 

The word glory, as applied to God or Christ, sometimes evidently signifies 
the communications of God's fulness, and means much the same thing with 
God's abundant and exceeding goodness and grace. So Eph. iii. 16, " That he 
would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with 
might by his Spirit in the inner man." The expression, " According to the 
riches of his glory," is apparently equivalent to that in the same epistle, chap, 
i. 7, "According to the riches of his grace." And chap. ii. 7, "The ex- 
ceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us, through Christ Jesus." 
In like manner is the word glory used in Phil. iv. 19, " But my God shall supply 
all your need, according to his riches in glory, by Christ Jesus." And Rom. ix. 
23, " And that he might make known the riches of his glory, on the vessels of 
mercy." In this, and the foregoing verse, the apostle speaks of God's making 
known two things, his great wrath, and his rich grace. The former, on the 
vessels of wrath, verse 22. The latter, which he calls the riches of his glory, 
on the vessels of mercy, verse 23. So when Moses says, " I beseech thee show 
me thy glory;" God, granting his request, makes answer, " I will make all my 
goodness to pass before thee." Exod. xxxiii. 18, 19.* 

What we find in John xii. 23 — 32, is worthy of particular notice in this 
place. The words and behavior of Christ, which we have an account of here, 
argue two things. 

1. That the happiness and salvation of men, was an end that Christ ultimate- 
ly aimed at in the labors and sufferings he went through for our redemption, 
(and consequently, by what has been before observed, an ultimate end of the 
work of creation.) The very same things which were observed before in this 
passage [Chapter 2d, Section 3d) concerning God's glory, are equally, and in 
the same manner observable, concerning the salvation of men. As it was there 
observed, that Christ in the great conflict of his soul, in the view of the near 
approach of the most extreme difficulties which attended his undertaking, com- 
forts himself in a certain prospect of obtaining the end he had chiefly in view. 
It was observed that the glory of God is therefore mentioned and dwelt upon by 
him, as what his soul supported itself and rested in, as this great end. And at 
the same time, and exactly in the same manner, is the salvation of men men- 
tioned and insisted on, as the end of these great labors and sufferings, which 
satisfied his soul, in the prospect of undergoing them. Compare the 23d and 
24th verses; and also the 28th and 29th verses ; verse 31, and 32. And, 

2. The glory of God, and the emanations and fruits of his grace in man's 
salvation, are so spoken of by Christ on this occasion in just the same manner, 
that it would be quite unnatural, to understand him as speaking of two distinct 
things. Such is the connection, that what he says of the latter must most 
naturally be understood as exegetical of the former. He first speaks of his own 
glory and the glory of his Father, as the great end that should be obtained by 
what he is about to suffer ; and then explains and amplifies what he says on this 
in what he expresses of the salvation of men that shall be obtained by it. Thus 

* Dr. Goodwin observes (Vol. I. of his works, Part 2d page 166), that riches of grace are called riches 
oi glory in Scripture. " The Scripture," says he, " speaks of riches of glory in Eph. iii. 16, ' That he 
would grant you according to the riches of his glory ;' yet eminently mercy is there intended : for it is 
that which God bestows, and which the apostle there prayeth for. And he calls his mercy there his glory, 
as elsewhere he doth, as being the most eminent excellency in God. That in Rom. ix. 22, 23, compared, is 
observable. In the 22d verse, where the apostle speak s of God's making known the power of his wrath, saith 
he, * God willing to show his wrath, and make his power known.' But in verse 23d, when he comes to 
speak of mercy, he saith, • That he might make known the riches of his glory, on the vessels of mercy ' ■ 

Vol. U. 32 


in the 23d verse he says, " The hour is come that the Son of Man should be 
glorified." And in what next follows, he evidently shows how he was *o be 
glorified, or wherein his glory consisted : " Verily, verily I say unto you, except 
a corn of wheat fall into the ground, and die, it abideth alone ; but if it die, 
it bringeth forth much fruit." As much fruit is the glory of the seed, so is the 
multitude of redeemed ones, which should spring from his death, his glory.* 
So concerning the glory of his Father, in the 27th, and following verses : u Now 
is my soul troubled, and what shall I say 1 Father, save me from this hour. But 
for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came 
there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it 
again." In an assurance of this, which this voice declared, Christ was greatly 
comforted, and his soul .even exulted under the view of his approaching sufferings. 
And what this glory was, in which Christ's soul was so comforted on this occasion,' 
his own words which he then spake, plainly show. When the people said it 
thundered, and others said an angel spake to him, then Christ explains the matter 
to them, and tells them what this voice meant. Verses 30 — 32, " Jesus answered 
and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judg- 
ment of this world ; now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if 
I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." By this behavior, 
and these speeches of our Redeemer, it appears that the expressions of divine 
grace, in the sanctification and happiness of the redeemed, are especially that 
glory of his, and his Father, which was the joy that was set before him, for 
which he endured the cross, and despised the shame; and that this glory, es- 
pecially, was the end of the travail of his soul, in obtaining which end he was 
satisfied, agreeable to Isa. liii. 10, 1 1. 

This is agreeable to what has been just observed, of God's glory being so 
often represented by an effulgence, or emanation, or communication of light, 
from a luminary or fountain of light. What can be thought of, that so natural- 
ly and aptly represents the emanation of the internal glory of God ; or the flow- 
ing forth, and abundant communication of that infinite fulness of good that is in 
God ? Light is very often in Scripture put for comfort, joy, happiness, and for 
good in general.f 

Again the word glory, as applied to God in Scripture, implies the view or 
knowledge of God's excellency. The exhibition of glory, is to the view of be- 
holders. The manifestation of glory, the emanation or effulgence of brightness, 
has relation to the eye. Light or brightness is a quality that has relation to the 
sense of seeing : we see the luminary by its light. And knowledge is often 
expressed in Scripture by light. The word glory very often in Scripture signi- 
fies or implies honor, as any one may soon see by casting his eye on a concord- 
ance.! But honor implies the knowledge of the dignity and excellency of him 
who hath the honor. And this is often more especially signified by the word 
glory, when applied to God. Num. xiv. 21, " But as truly as I live, all the 
earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord," i. e., all the earth shall see the 
manifestations I will make of my perfect holiness and hatred of sin, and so of 

* Here may be remembered what was before observed of the church's being so often spoken of as the 
glory and fulness of Christ. 

+ Isa. vi. 3, " Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory." In the ori- 
ginal, " His glory is the fulness of the whole earth ;" which signifies much more than the words of the 
translation. God's glory, consisting especially in his holiness, is that, in the sight or communications of 
which, man's fulness, i. e., his holiness and happ'ness, consists. By God's glory here, there seems to be 
respect to that train, or those effulgent beams that filled the temple : these beams signifying God's glory 
shining forth, and communicated. This effulgence or communication is the fulness of all intelligent 
creatures, who have no fulness of their own. 

% See particularly Heb. iii. 3. 


my infinite excellence. This appears by the context. So Ezek. xxxix. 21 — 
23, " And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall 
see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. 
So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God. And the hea- 
then shall know, that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity." 
And it is manifest in many places, where we read of God's glorifying himself, 
or of his being glorified, that one thing directly intended is, a manifesting or 
making known his divine greatness and excellency. 

Again, glory, as the word is used in Scripture, often signifies or implies 
praise. This appears from what was observed before, that glory very often sig- 
nifies honor, which is much the same thing with praise, viz., high esteem and 
respect of heart, and the expression and testimony of it in words and actions. 
And it is manifest that the words glory and praise, are often used as equivalent 
expressions in Scripture. Psal. 1. 23, " Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth me." 
Psal. xxii. 23, " Ye that fear the Lord, praise him ; all ye seed of Israel, glori- 
fy him." Isa. xlii. 8, " My glory I will not give unto another, nor my praise to 
graven images." Verse 12, " Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare 
his praise in the islands." Isa. xlviii. 9 — 11, " For my name's sake will I 
defer mine anger ; for my praise will 1 refrain for thee. — For mine own sake 
will I do it ; for, I will not give my glory unto another." Jer. xiii. 11, " That 
they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a 
glory." Eph. i. 6, " To the praise of the glory of his grace." Verse 12, " To 
the praise of his glory." So verse 14. The phrase is apparently equivalent to 
that, Phil. i. 11, " Which are by Jesus Christ unto the praise and glory of God." 
2 Cor. iv. 15, " That the abundant grace might, through the thanksgiving of 
many, redound to the glory of God.*' 

It is manifest the praise of God, as the phrase is used in Scripture, implies 
the high esteem and love of the heart, exalting thoughts of God, and compla- 
cence in his excellence and perfection. This must be so manifest to every one 
acquainted with the Scripture, that there seems to be no need to refer to parti- 
cular places. 

It also implies joy in God, or rejoicing in his perfections, as is manifest by 
Psal. xxxiii. 2, " Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous, for praise is comely for the 
upright." How often do we read of singing praise ? But singing is commonly 
an expression of joy. It is called making a joyful noise, Psal. lxvi. 1, 2, and 
xcvi. 4, 5. And as it is often used, it implies gratitude or love to God for his 
benefits to us. Psal. xxx. 12, and many other places. 

Having thus considered what is implied in the phrase, the glory of God, as 
we find it used in Scripture ; I proceed" to inquire what is meant by the name of 

And I observe that it is manifest that God's name and his glory, at least 
very often, signify the same thing in Scripture. As it has been observed con- 
cerning the glory of God, that it sometimes signifies the second person in the 
Trinity ; the same might be shown of the name of God, if it were needful in this 
place. But that the name and glory of God are often equipollent expressions, 
is manifest by Exod. xxxiii. 18, 19. When Moses says, M I beseech thee, show 
me thy glory," and God grants his request, he says, " I will proclaim the name 
of the Lord before thee." Psal. viii. 1, " Lord, how excellent is thy name in 
all the earth ! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens." Psal. lxxix. 9, 
" Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name ; and, deliver us, 
and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake." Psal. cii. 15, " So the heathen 
shall fear the name of the Lord ; and all the kings of the earth, thy glory." 


Psal. cxlviii. 13, " His name alone is excellent, and his glory is aboT e the earth 
and heaven." Isa. xlviii. 9, " For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, 
and for my praise will I refrain for thee." Verse 11, " For mine own sake, even 
for mine own sake will I do it ; for how should my name be polluted ? And I 
will not give my glory unto another." Isa. xlix. 19, " They shall fear the name 
of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun." Jer. xiii. 
11, " That they might be unto me for a name, and for a praise, and for a gloiy." 
As glory often implies the manifestation, publication and knowledge of excel- 
lency, and the honor that any one has in the world ; so it is evident does name. 
Gen. xi. 4, " Let us make us a name." Deut. xxvi. 19, " And to make thee 
high above all nations, in praise, in name, and in honor." See 2 Sam. vii. 9, 
and many other places. 

So it is evident that by name is sometimes meant much the same thing as 
praise, by several places which have been just mentioned, as Isa. xlviii. 9, Jer. 
xiii. 11, Deut. xxvi. 19 ; and also by Jer. xxxiii. 9, " And it shall be unto me 
for a name, a praise and an honor, before all the nations of the earth, which 
shall hear of all the good I do unto them." Zeph. iii. 20, " I will make you a 
name and a praise among all people of the earth.' 1 

And it seems that the expression or exhibition of God's goodness is espe- 
cially called his name, in Exod. xxxiii. 19 : "I will make all my goodness pass 
before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee." And chap. 
xxxiv. 5 — 7, " And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him 
there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before 
him, and proclaimed the Lord, the Lord God, gracious and merciful, long-suffer- 
ing and abundant in goodness and truth ; keeping mercy for thousands," &c. 

And the same illustrious brightness and effulgence in the pillar of cloud, 
that appeared in the wilderness, and dwelt above the mercy-seat in the taber- 
nacle and temple (or rather the s